David Littleproud declares he will challenge Barnaby Joyce for national party leadership

Deputy Nationals leader David Littleproud has confirmed he will try to overthrow Barnaby Joyce as leader when the party meets in Canberra on Monday.

Mr Littleproud, who was Agriculture Minister in the Coalition Government and is a member of Maranoa in Queensland, said in a statement: “This afternoon I informed Barnaby Joyce of my intention to nominate for the position of Leader of The Nationals.

“I also took the opportunity to thank him for all his services to our party.

“Ultimately, this is a decision about who will lead the Nationals into the 2025 election. Therefore, out of respect for my colleagues, I will not make any further public statements until after Monday’s meeting.”

The challenge follows Gippsland MP Darren Chester’s announcement that he would also challenge Mr Joyce, arguing that “extreme” comments from colleagues about climate change and the coalition’s net-zero policies had contributed to the loss of once-secure liberals. seats in cities.

But Mr Chester has downplayed his chances of winning the leadership vote.

Former Nationals leader Michael McCormack, who was rolled by Joyce last year, had also considered raising his hand.

Barnaby Joyce and David Littleproud face each other in a leadership contest on Monday.ABC News: Matt Roberts

The ABC has spoken to nine Nationals who privately said they would vote for Mr Littleproud in a leadership vote, while others are undecided on whether to support Joyce.

While cities voted for change in federal elections, rural and regional areas did not.

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