Political hopeful Clive Palmer has accused the prime minister of stalling his campaign by stopping his private jet from being refuelled at Melbourne airport.
Mr Palmer says he was left stranded at the airport on Thursday morning, unable to fly on to Tasmania.
The billionaire says the refuelling hose was hooked up to his jet when a call came through that the fuel was needed for Kevin Rudd's plane, which was yet to land.
Mr Palmer says the prime minister's plane then sat at Melbourne Airport for over an hour without being refuelled, while the fuel meant for his aircraft was left sitting idly on the tarmac.
The Palmer United Party leader suspects the move was a ploy from Mr Rudd to hinder his campaign efforts.
"Rudd directed that to happen from the air in his jet, because we saw the telephone call go to the refueller, who unplugged us and refused to give us our fuel," a livid Mr Palmer told AAP.
"It's a sad day for democracy when the prime minister tries to use the power of government and the law to crush people in Australia and to stop people from having the right to freedom of speech."
Mr Palmer says there were heated scenes at the airport, particularly when he was told to move his plane for Mr Rudd's and Australian Federal Police became involved.
"I went down the steps and said: `Arrest me'," Mr Palmer said.
"'We're not moving our plane, arrest me, mate'."
Mr Palmer says the saga has cost him at least three hours of campaign time in Tasmania.
A Labor spokesperson later responded: "This is complete nonsense."
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