Bye-bye Barnaby Joyce, hello Michael McCormack? Riverina MP in the frame as possible Nationals leader

National leader Barnaby Joyce (right) and Member for Riverina Michael McCormack.
National leader Barnaby Joyce (right) and Member for Riverina Michael McCormack.

Member for Riverina Michael McCormack is being tipped as a top contender to replace embattled National Party leader Barnaby Joyce.

As media speculation mounts about the future of the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr McCormack – the Minister for Veterans Affairs – has been named along with Darren Chester as a possible replacement for Mr Joyce, whose leadership is under increasing scrutiny after a series of revelations about the breakdown of his marriage and his relationship with a former staffer.

Fairfax Media has reported that Mr Joyce fought back on Tuesday, insisting he could survive the scandal that is threatening his career and has derailed the government's start to the 2018 political year.

But he was hit by fresh questions after Fairfax Media revealed he charged taxpayers to spend 50 nights in Canberra when Parliament was not sitting in 2017 - more than any other cabinet minister.

Removing a sitting leader is relatively unfamiliar to Nationals MPs, who have done it only once previously.

National newspapers were this morning reporting that Mr Joyce had lost the support of a number of MPs in his party room and that a delegation was preparing to meet with him and urge him to step down.


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