A former Home and Away actor has quit Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party because its campaign paraphernalia was made in China.
Bryan Wiseman told Brisbane’s Courier Mail he quit the party after spotting the “made in China” tags on bright yellow party merchandise and deciding it was a “circus”.
Mr Palmer has attacked China ahead of the federal campaign and promised to create local jobs as part of his election pitch.
Mr Wiseman, who was endorsed as the UAP candidate for Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s seat of Cook, said outsourcing work to cheap overseas labour seemed hypocritical.
Mr Palmer hit back on Wednesday, saying Australian media should “come back to reality and stop trivialising this issue”.
“Our policy is not to limit international trade,” he said in a statement to The New Daily.
“Our policies are about protecting our strategic assets such as ports, airports and gas infrastructure from foreign government ownership.
“We need to save this country.”
Mr Wiseman was still listed as the party’s candidate for Cook on UAP’s website early on Wednesday afternoon.
Mr Palmer announced the actor as his candidate in the southern Sydney seat in January.
“In addition to being a much loved actor, Bryan has outstanding community values and a passion to make Australia great,” Mr Palmer said at the time, borrowing US President Donald Trump’s infamous campaign slogan.
“We are delighted to have him on board with the United Australia Party and look forward to him bringing the sitting member Scott Morrison to account in the upcoming federal election.”
Mr Wiseman played Dr John Wilson in long-running soapie Home and Away in the 1990s and early 2000s. He also runs a foster home for animals.
The New Daily has previously revealed Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party sold T-shirts made in Bangladesh, according to the label.
The bright orange “I Trust Pauline Hanson” shirts were a prominent feature of One Nation’s campaigns in the 2016 federal election and the 2017 Western Australian state poll and were often worn by Senator Hanson herself.
The New Daily contacted Mr Wiseman for comment.