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Premier ambitions for Titanic II

Clive Palmer
The billionaire Clive Palmer Credit: PA Images

The man behind Titanic 2 could launch the ship in Southampton in 2016 as Prime Minister of Australia. That's if he gets elected.

Clive Palmer has announced his newest venture is to stand for election in September and he plans to form his own political party.

Some had claimed Titanic 2 was a publicity stunt to get him world wide attention before announcing his intention to stand.

While some reman sceptical about the plan Mr Palmer insisted - in an interview with ITV News Meridian - that the Titanic 2 replica "would be built."

Titanic II
Guests attend a gala breakfast as plans to build a replica of the Titanic are explained. March 2013. Credit: The Canadian Press/Andrew Vaughan

Last week a contract was awarded for a marine company to design and manage the project but work has not yet started.

The flamboyant mining magnate was a long-time supporter of the opposition Liberal-National coalition but gave up his membership last year after a bitter and public dispute with the government in his home state of Queensland.

He now plans to re-form the United Australia Party, which dissolved in 1945, and contest all 150 lower house seats in the national polls, as well as seats in the upper house Senate.

Mr Palmer said: "The reason I'm standing is to be the next prime minister of Australia."

"I have no personal interest. I have made enough money in my life, I'm not seeking any enrichment of wealth for myself, I'm seeking it for the Australian people.

"I could go off and stay in Monaco, have a nice drink and forget about this country, but we've got more commitment to Australia and its children than anyone else."

He joins a growing list of high-profile candidates including Australian-born WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who intends to run for the Senate with his WikiLeaks Party.

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Recorded message for guests

He may not have been there in person, but Clive Palmer still had a message for guests at the launch of plans to build a replica of Titanic.

In a recorded message, he told guests: "Why build Titanic? Because we can. Titanic will bring the ship back to life. It will be a tribute to those who died."

We will complete the journey. The ship will be a ship of peace carrying the hopes and dreams of people everywhere. By learning from the lessons of the past this is our moment. Titanic was the ship of dreams Titanic 2 will be a ship where dreams come true."

– Clive Palmer, on his plans to build a second Titanic

Billionaire misses breakfast launch

The man behind Titanic II failed to turn up to his own launch event in Southampton this morning. Clive Palmer was due at a lavish breakfast to reveal more details about the plan. The billionaire says he will build a replica of the ship and sail it from Southampton I the years time.

160 VIPs including Lawrie McMenemy, the Mayor, Council and business leaders are at the Grand Cafe in the City to hear details of the controversial plan. Reactions are mixed with some enthusiastic about the plan. Other say the ship is in poor taste.

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Titanic II: full report from Mike Pearse in New York

Clive Palmer, the Australian billionaire behind plans for a second Titanic, says she will set sail from Southampton to New York at the end of 2016.

He's going ahead with the controversial plan despite some claiming it's poor taste. Titanic 2 - a near replica of the original will be much smaller than today's Transatlantic liners - like the Queen Mary 2.

She'll be 65,000 tonnes, 882 feet long, 9 decks tall and able to carry 3,200 passengers and crew.

In his first British television interview Clive Palmer spoke to our Transport Correspondent at the Titanic 2 launch in New York. Mike also spoke to Philip Littlejohn and Dot Haisman, both relatives of Titanic survivors. Here's his full report.

Report from New York on Titanic II

The Australian billionaire Clive Palmer has been giving details of Titanic II at a press conference in America. Relatives of the passengers who sailed on the original ship have criticised his plan. They say it's in bad taste.

But enthusiasts are eager to be on board when the new liner leaves Southampton on her maiden voyage - just as the first Titanic did 100 years ago. Our tTansport Correspondent Mike Pearse sends this report from New York.

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