Annastacia Palaszczuk has endorsed Steven Miles as Queensland’s next premier after her shock resignation.
An emotional Ms Palaszczuk announced her departure through tears on Sunday, claiming ‘the time was right’.
‘I’ve been thinking about it for a while,’ she said.
‘It’s the right time. It’s time for renewal and I have a great deputy in Steven Miles and I believe he’ll make an excellent premier.’
But he will likely have to compete with the Health Minister, Shannon Fentiman and Treasurer Cameron Dick for the top job.
Annastacia Palaszczuk has endorsed her deputy Steven Miles (pictured) as Queensland’s next premier after her shock resignation
Mr Miles, 44, who has served as Ms Palaczcuk’s deputy since May 2020, having been a Labor MP since 2015, is no stranger to controversy.
He was a vocal proponent of lockdowns and border closures during the coronavirus pandemic, praising Ms Palaczcuk’s ‘measured, cautious and safe approach’, while slamming NSW’s ‘reckless’ decision to allow travel before Christmas in 2021.
His largest claim to infamy, however, came earlier that year when he almost called the then Prime Minister Scott Morrison the c-word – and blamed the gaffe on an apparent stutter.
Mr Miles was speaking at a Labor Day event in Brisbane in May 2021 when he compared the thenOpposition Leader Anthony Albanese, who was in attendance at the free event, to Mr Morrison charging $5,500 per person to attend a fundraiser.
‘Scott Morrison’s in town, he’s holding $5000-a-seat fundraisers, think about that,’ Mr Miles told the crowd.
‘Albo’s here with us at Labour Day while Scott Morrison’s charging $5000 a head to have dinner with him.
‘What a cun… contrast.’
Mr Miles, 44, has served as Ms Palaczcuk’s deputy since May 2020, having been a Labor MP since 2015 (they are pictured together)
Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured) resigned as Queensland premier on Sunday
Miles, who grinned and laughed as the crowd roared with laughter and cheered at the slip of the tongue, then introduced Mr Albanese who he said would be more careful with his words.
At a press conference following the event, Miles said the gaffe was the result of his stutter.
‘I understand I might have stuttered while speaking earlier and some in the crowd might have misheard,’ he said.
‘What I said I want to be very, very clear that I was using the word contrast, the word contrast.’
Deputy Premier Steven Miles pictured ripping up a NSW government invoice in a publicity stunt
The 43-year-old, who took over from Jackie Trad as deputy premier in 2020, said that despite his disagreements with Morrison’s policies, he would ‘never ever use language like that’.
‘I understand that was a slight stutter and people might have misheard me but it certainly wasn’t my intention.’
Mr Miles had another run in with Prime Minister Morrison earlier that year when he filmed himself ripping up a tax invoice from the NSW government and called Mr Morrison a ‘school bully’ for telling the state to pay for its quarantine hotel costs.
He recorded himself destroying the $30million bill charging for the 7,112 travellers with Queensland addresses who were held in New South Wales quarantine from March 29 to September 30 in 2020.
Mr Miles claimed Queensland would not pay up until Mr Morrison allowed a proposed national quarantine hub near Toowoomba in the state’s south-east.
‘Scott Morrison is like a school bully telling us we have to give our lunch money to NSW,’ Mr Miles said.
‘We will not be paying that bill, not while the Commonwealth refuses to endorse our plan for a national quarantine centre.’
But Mr Miles came under heavy fire from 2GB breakfast radio host Ben Fordham over his comments.
‘This bloke is a child,’ Fordham told listeners.
‘He’s got a problem with the Commonwealth because they don’t like his silly idea so he takes our money hostage.
Covid press conferences could test the attention span of most grown-ups, now add to that being a kid and having to sit through one next door to a kite festival. Pictured: Steven Miles (centre), daughter Bridie (centre), and health minister Yvette D’Ath (right)
‘In the dope department, he’s a world record holder. Give him the gold medal!’
He drew criticism in 2020 when he cracked a joke after then US President Donald Trump was rushed to hospital with Covid-19.
‘Have you considered intravenous disinfectant?,’ Mr Miles wrote on Twitter.
The joke was a reference to Trump’s much-mocked suggestion that injecting bleach or disinfectant could help fight the virus.
Mr Miles was slammed for ‘extremely inappropriate’ comment.
In 2020, Mr Miles was the target of an attack ad by Queensland’s Liberal National Party.
A video shared on the party’s Facebook page appeared to show Mr Miles accidentally swallowing a fly at a press conference.
But the ad backfired after people accused the LNP of being ‘juvenile’ and ’embarrassing’.
Before entering politics, the father-of-three was a union organiser and ran a small local business.
He gained a PhD from the University of Queensland, with a thesis entitled Trade ‘Union Renewal in Australia: rebuilding worker involvement’.
Mr Miles’s then six-year-old daughter Bridie stole the show at a coronavirus briefing in 2021 where she waited patiently before becoming bored and dsitracted.
Adorable footage of the briefing showed her repeatedly yawning, practicing some TikTok moves before eventually resorting to the classic listless child’s pose: the arm swing.