Barnaby Joyce has failed in his attempt to lead the National Party of Australia once again, emerging defeated following a leadership spill earlier this morning.
News of a leadership change was first reported on Sunday when it was announced that Nationals deputy leader Bridget McKenzie would be quitting the frontbench following a report’s finding that she had breached ministerial standards over a pork-barrelling controversy.
Though leader Michael McCormack’s noted that discussions regarding the deputy position would be held on Tuesday, former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce soon threw his hat in the ring, noting that he would challenge McCormack’s leadership in the event of a spill being declared.
As the ABC noted, McCormack appeared confident that he would not be replaced by Joyce, who had resigned from the leadership role in February of 2018 following allegations of sexual harassment.
“I’m sure Barnaby is ready to be the leader of the party should there be a spill called,” McCormack was quoted as saying. “But there has been no spill called. There is no vacancy for the leadership position.”
A message from The Nationals President the Hon Larry Anthony pic.twitter.com/dVkkfHiceE
— The Nationals (@The_Nationals) February 3, 2020
Ultimately, this morning saw McCormack emerge victorious from a vote on the party’s leadership earlier today, having been formally challenged by Joyce, as The Guardian reports.
With the Nationals also appointing David Littleproud to the position of deputy leader, McCormack stated that he doubted Joyce will challenge the role again.
“I don’t expect him to. I’ve been endorsed as leader,” he explained. “I was endorsed as leader when we came back here after the May election last year I was endorsed as leader when he stood down in 2018.”
“That’s three times in less than two years. I think that is enough to warrant me leading the party going forward.”
In related leadership news, the Greens this morning elected Victorian MP Adam Bandt as the new leader of the party, following the shock exit of Richard Di Natale yesterday. Bandt was elected unopposed into the role, while Queensland senator Larissa Waters will continue as co-deputy leader alongside Tasmania’s Nick McKim.
Adam Bandt, Parliamentary Leader of the Australian Greens. Has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?!
Huge congratulations to @AdamBandt, who begins as leader today and kicks off our campaign for a Green New Deal. So exciting! 🙌
— Australian Greens (@Greens) February 3, 2020