26 February 2018Hot off the Press
Nationals MP and Minister for Veterans Affairs, Michael McCormack, has been elected unopposed as Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister, following Barnaby Joyce’s resignation this morning.
In an address to the media, Mr McCormack said great trust, faith and responsiblity had been bestowed upon him.
“I will honour that faith and trust and responsibility by doing my best always. I am a team player and I am going to be doing it with the very best team in rural and regional Australia,” he said.
George Christensen made a surprise bid for the leadership despite the National Party’s hope for a smooth transition of power.
The results of the vote have not been released so it is unclear what the winning margin was.
Mr Christensen released a statment this morning in which he conceded his defeat and congratulated Mr McCormack.
“I expressed my views on the need to change the current political direction the Nationals are moving in, in a Facebook post over the weekend,” he said. “My colleagues did not agree with my views, and that’s democracy.”
Barnaby Joyce will now sit on the backbench and Mr McCormack will be promoted to Cabinet.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has congratulated the new Deputy Prime Minister and remarked on how enduring the Coalition has been.
“The Liberal Party has been in coalition with the Nationals for more than 70 years and our enduring and successful political partnership will continue under Michael’s leadership of the National Party,” he said.