Dead or Clive: MP caught napping in Parliament

WHAT is with Sunshine Coast MPs and sleeping in Parliament?

First it was Peter Slipper back in 2010 during an historic speech by a foreign leader.

Now Clive Palmer has been caught napping during debate today over last night's Joe Hockey budget.

Pictures of the napping billionaire and mining magnate  are already popping up everywhere on Twitter.

"@TonyAbbottMHR sent me to sleep during Question Time avoiding questions about his cruel & heartless budget #qt,'' Palmer tweeted in response.

Mr Palmer will come under fire for his napping, especially given his record of failing to attend Parliament or question time.

Neighbouring LNP MP Mal Brough has been critical of his lack of attendance, despite Mr Palmer arguing that he serves the community better from outside of Canberra.

Mr Brough didn't miss the opportunity, going over to Mr Palmer to offer him a water while he slept.

The Fairfax MP soon emerged for a scheduled 3.30pm press conference, vowing to lead a people's revolt against the budget.

Mr Palmer said he has had a very busy day, that has included about 38 interviews and a lunchtime speech.

"I went a bit sleepy,'' he admitted after starting about 2am.

Critics of the Coast MP say he has been spending much of his time outside of the electorate, including living on the Gold Coast and attending Palmer United Party functions across the country.

The Sunshine Coast resort owner has a ruthless schedule which often sees him criss-crossing the country in his $70 million jet.

He often survives on as little as three or four hours sleep, during which he has a sleep apnoea machine on.

Palmer not alone when it comes to napping in Parliament

In 2010, former Speaker and Member for Fisher Peter Slipper made headlines when he slept during an historic speech by Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The Liberal MP was spotted by journalists in the Canberra press gallery, who jumped to their mobile phones as he appeared to doze off.

A journalist from a Sydney radio station announced on her Twitter account: "There's a Liberal MP dozing quite publicly through SBY's speech ..."

A second journalist then identified the snoozing politician as the Member for Fisher.

Another reporter responded with: "Peter Slipper woken by the applause by SBY".

Liberal MP Peter Slipper closes his eyes during the historic speech in Parliament.
Liberal MP Peter Slipper closes his eyes during the historic speech in Parliament. Contributed

A photograph of Mr Slipper, taken from a mobile phone on the Opposition side of parliament, was sent anonymously to the Daily yesterday.

Mr Slipper denied he was sneaking in beauty sleep during the international leader's speech, but conceded he may have closed his eyes.

"I'm not saying that I didn't close my eyes," he said.

"But I've been a very strong supporter of Indonesian and Australian relations.

"I thought it was a great speech.

"I did not sleep. I'm not saying that I didn't close my eyes.

"If I'd known there was a camera, I wouldn't have closed my eyes."


Peter Slipper denied falling asleep in the Federal Parliament in 2010 as Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono made an historic speech The former member for Fisher said at the time he was resting his eyes.

2006 - American Senator Robert Byrd takes a nap on the floor of the United States senate:

Canadian politician Rob Anders created a furore after he blamed a car accident on his falling asleep. (2012) He later fell asleep in Canada's House of Commons during a veterans affairs committee meeting. The veterans were not happy.

BRITISH MP Stephen Pound apparently fell asleep while the Parliament discussed the deaths of two British soldiers in Afghanistan:

American congressman George Holding falls asleep in the big chair: (2013)