Nationals MP and ousted party leader Barnaby Joyce has shocked the nation by suggesting he’ll run for the top job if there’s a new leadership spill, presaging another stint of this guy as Australia’s deputy prime minister.
Joyce, who has not once signalled his burning contempt for current Nationals chief and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, says the downfall of McCormack’s second-in-command Bridget McKenzie presents some interesting opportunities.
“If there’s a spill, then I’ll put my hand up,” Joyce told Sunrise this morning.
The issued a pitch, too, saying “every seat we’ve got is one I won in the previous election, before the one we’ve just had.”
But Joyce said he would not personally stoop so low as to advocate for a spill of the party’s leadership, instead leaving it up to other members to sharpen their knives.
“If they choose to do it, they choose to do it,” Joyce said.
“I would never put a certainty on anything.”
Joyce was pressured into resigning from the position as leader of the National Party in 2018 as a result of his extramarital relationship with former staffer Vikki Campion.
Obviously, that was not to be the last high-profile scandal to impact the party. McKenzie resigned from her position as Agriculture Minister yesterday amid the fallout of the sports rorts scandal, leaving a black hole in the party’s upper echelons.
“With Bridget’s stepping down, there’s obviously going to be a ballot in any case for the deputy, so there you go,” Joyce said.
Could it be that a man who expressed overwhelming remorse for his actions believes he has changed enough to lead the party with integrity once more? Stunning, if so.
The party is slated to meet tomorrow to decide on a replacement for McKenzie. Watch this space for a potential spill, and the imminent possibility of Joyce once again serving as acting prime minister the next time Scott Morrison vanishes to Hawaii.
#BREAKING: @Barnaby_Joyce confirms he will stand for Nationals leadership if there is a spill pic.twitter.com/YeZroBd2tc
— Sunrise (@sunriseon7) February 2, 2020