Clive Palmer has voluntarily deregistered his United Australia Party despite having a member in parliament.
The mining magnate’s surprise move has left Victorian senator Ralph Babet to sit as an independent.
A notice published by the Australian Electoral Commission said the party was deregistered on September 8.
The decision appeared to surprise Senator Babet, who told Nine newspapers the party had been deregistered for “administrative reasons” and would be re-registered ahead of the next election.
“This has actually happened before. We do it in between the elections to save on the administration, the party is not going anywhere. It’s staying right where it is. The UAP is here forever,” he said on Friday.
“Of course, myself being a parliamentary leader of (the) United Australia Party, we own the trademark, we will be immediately re-registered next time.”
Senator Babet has been described as Mr Palmer’s “$100 million man” for being the sole beneficiary of the businessman’s federal election campaign this year.
The party was registered in December 2018 and ran candidates at the federal election the following year.
However, the party failed to get a member elected in either house of parliament at the 2019 election despite the multi-million dollar ad spend, before securing one spot the last time around.