It's On: Barnaby Joyce Will Face A Leadership Challenge Next Week
22 February, 2018, 11:48 | Author: Wade Massey
Fellow Nationals MP Andrew Broad has sensationally and publicly called for Joyce's resignation from the party's top job in a wild appearance on ABC Radio earlier this afternoon.
Nationals insiders said the tactic of having sitting MPs call for Mr Joyce to step down and return to the backbench may be more palatable than an ugly "spill motion".
"The Nationals are not people who actually go through this very often and I'm sure these things can be worked out in a conversation in the partyroom and that's what will happen", Mr Broad told ABC radio.
Joyce - who was expected to be acting prime minister this week - was overlooked by prime minister Malcolm Turnbull when deciding who would replace him during his trip to the United States this week.
After a week spent in his Mallee electorate talking to supporters, Mr Broad said members of the Federal Electorate Council had expressed a clear view.
Mr Broad said he didn't believe Mr Joyce was making sound judgment, and that he should stand down as Deputy Prime Minister. He said the deputy prime minister refused to quit, instead indicating that he would rather face a vote.
Mr Joyce, who has four daughters with his estranged wife, said he doesn't want his child with Ms Campion to be treated any differently.
Quote from the late Billy Graham "when wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost". telling words for the Leadership of the National Party.
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Nationals MPs are due to meet in Canberra on Monday morning but not as the full party room because senators will be involved in estimates hearings.
She did not explicitly back her leader but said there was "no stronger advocate for regional Australia than Barnaby Joyce".
If Joyce doesn't resign by Monday, Broad will move a resolution calling for a change of leader.
Mr Joyce is on leave this week, saying he wanted to support his family and partner after intense public scrutiny.
Mr Joyce's decision to grant a third significant interview this week, in which he complained about being forced out of his rent-free Armidale townhouse, was seen by colleagues as a further error of judgement because it has made a mockery of his time away from the spotlight and gave the story new life. "I'm a humble backbencher but I have to sit here and think from a national interest, and whoever has to be at times the acting prime minister of Australia, which is traditionally the leader of the Nationals, they have to have their mind on the job", he said.
A leadership challenge to Joyce has severe ramifications for the on-going stability of the already embattled Turnbull Government, and comes at a time where the Prime Minister is out of the country visiting Washington DC.
Veterans minister Michael McCormack and Victorian MP Darren Chester have been touted as possible leadership contenders.
Senator Cormann told reporters it was important for "all of us" to remember that this discussion concerns human beings.
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