Deputy Nationals leader David Littleproud has confirmed he will try to overthrow Barnaby Joyce as leader when the party meets in Canberra on Monday.
Most important points:
- David Littleproud hopes to oust Barnaby Joyce as Nationals leader
- The party will decide on its leadership team at a meeting on Monday
- Mr Littleproud and Mr Joyce both have a lot of support in the banquet hall
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.
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.
The Nationals had all 16 seats in the House of Commons, but in most areas there were swings against them, despite the party having billions of dollars worth of regional infrastructure announcements.
In the wake of the election, the Nationals have shown themselves once again divided on climate change and net zero, with some arguing that a new leader is needed to unite the opposition party.
Since 2017, Mr Joyce has resigned as leader twice, once due to dual citizenship and a second time over allegations of sexual harassment.
He unsuccessfully challenged his successor McCormack in 2020 but eventually rolled over him last year as the coalition was mired in protracted negotiations over its net-zero target.
Mr Littleproud is one of the party’s stronger advocates for action on climate change and has launched a biodiversity management program during his administration.