Barnaby’s back – Nationals oust McCormack as leader


The National party has a new leader, and Australia has a new Deputy Prime Minister, with Barnaby Joyce returning to the leadership role.

Joyce was returned to the leadership position after a spill motion was put forward in the party room by close ally Senator Matt Canavan.  Michael McCormack had served as the party’s leader for three years and four months.

Joyce previously resigned from his leadership and ministerial roles in 2018 after it was revealed he was in a relationship and had fathered child with a former staffer. He was previously took over as leader in 2016 following the retirement of Warren Truss.

The ousting of McCormack as leader came after a difficult week in parliament where McCormack, in the role as Acting Prime Minister, made several gaffes and blunders. While in the background Nationals members voiced their concern over the coalition’s commitments to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Speaking to the media Joyce said he would be guided by his colleagues on the approach to climate change related policies.

“It is not Barnaby policy – it’s Nationals policy,” he said, arguing that his focus would be on getting the best deal for rural Australia.

The change of leadership is expected to trigger a Ministerial re-shuffle with Joyce supporters expected to be awarded with positions. Senator Bridget McKenzie, who resigned over the ‘sports rorts’ affair is expected to return to a cabinet post.

McCormack said he was disappointed with the result but wished Barnaby Joyce well in the role. He said he would consider his future in politics in coming days.

OIP Staff

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