Palmer cancels speech due to ‘COVID-like symptoms’

Clive Palmer's $117m gift to the United Australia Party is the most donated to a party in one year.

Clive Palmer's $117m gift to the United Australia Party is the most donated to a party in one year. Photo: AAP

United Australia Party leader Clive Palmer has pulled out of a major speech in Canberra at the last minute, because he has “COVID-like symptoms”.

The 67-year-old mining magnate was due to speak to the National Press Club on Tuesday, but abruptly cancelled the speech with just a couple of hours notice.

Mr Palmer, who has not been vaccinated for the deadly virus, was due to fly from the Gold Coast to Canberra on Tuesday for the speech.

A spokesman confirmed Mr Palmer was suffering “flu-like symptoms” and had received medical advice not to travel.

“It is hoped Mr Palmer’s address will be rescheduled for another time prior to the federal election,” the spokesman said.

Mr Palmer will also reportedly get a PCR test to see if he has the virus.

The mining magnate is a trenchant supporter of protests and court action against vaccine mandates and health-related restrictions. In December, he told the Federal Court he was not vaccinated against the virus.

Last week, Mr Palmer was in court in Sydney to give evidence in his defamation trial against Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan. The trial relates to comments about WA’s strict border rules.

Mr Palmer held the Queensland federal seat of Fairfax from 2013-2016.

He is the United Australia Party’s candidate for the Senate in Queensland at this year’s federal election. His party will stand candidates in seats in both houses.

Last election, Mr Palmer spent more than $80 million on advertising. That is expected to be replicated in the lead up to the 2022 poll.

-with AAP

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