Former Nationals leader John Anderson’s return to politics falls flat

Former Nationals leader John Anderson’s bid to return to politics has come to a sudden end with the party choosing to endorse former NSW director Ross Cadell as their top pick for the senate ticket for New South Wales.

He was offered the unwinnable second spot on the ticket, but declined the position. He says his political career has now come to and end.

Anderson was a member of the House of Representatives from 1989 to 2007, and served as Minister for Primary Industries and Energy (1996–1998) and Minister for Transport and Regional Development (1998–2005) in the Howard Government. He was the leader of the Nationals from 1999 until 2005 and served as Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister.

The 64 year old said he had no interest in returning to the leadership of the party, but felt he had a lot to offer as a politician. Since retiring from politics he has been a commentator on political issues with a TV series on Sky News alongside his own website and YouTube channel.

Nationals leader Michael McCormack brushes off leadership challenge rumours

Current Nationals leader Michael McCormack has brushed off rumours that his leadership is under threat.

McCormack told the ABC that there was no reason for the party room not to be 100% behind him and said he was focusing on his job, rather than listening to leadership challenge rumours.

“I am concentrating to make sure we get things sorted during this pandemic which has killed 3.8 million people and we have a big job to do for and on behalf of all Australians,” McCormack said.

“If others want to talk about themselves then that is a matter for them.”

Reports have suggested that Nationals MPs are ‘doing the numbers’ to see if there is enough support to oust McCormack as leader and return Barnaby Joyce to the role. It is believed that many Nationals MPs are disappointed with Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s comments suggesting support for a net zero 2050 emissions target, and McCormack’s close alliance with the PM.

McCormack became the leader in 2018 after Joyce resigned from the position amid news that he had split from his wife and was now expecting a child with a former staffer. Joyce previously unsuccessfully challenged for the leadership in February 2020.

OIP Staff

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