President of the National Party Kay Hull has dismissed speculation that Michael McCormack's leadership of the party will be challenged in coming days, calling his role "strong and resilient".
Ms Hull, a former long-serving Riverina Nationals MP and the current federal president of the party, was responding to the latest round of speculation that former leader Barnaby Joyce is planning to make a bid for McCormack's position.
The latest speculation came from an AFR article published on Saturday morning claiming Mr Joyce, who stepped down as leader of the party in 2018, will move to depose Michael McCormack from his leadership position as early as Monday.
Ms Hull denied said she did not believe the reports came from within the party rooms, calling the speculation "opinion" and describing Mr McCormack's leadership as more than stable.
"I know of no validity to those statements beyond an opinion piece by a journalist," Ms Hull said on Saturday. "None of that is coming from within the party rooms."
"Michael's leadership is strong, supported and resilient."
Michael McCormack said his priority in the coming week is the current Coronavirus situation.
"I am focused as always on helping Australians to recover from the pandemic, rebuilding after the Victorian floods and the growth of regional Australia," Mr McCormack said. "If others within Government think that they should be talking about themselves and their ambitions at this difficult and challenging time then that is a matter for them."
"I am concentrating on the issues that matter to ordinary, everyday Australians."
Barnaby Joyce has been contacted for comment.
Barnaby Joyce stepped down as the Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Nationals in February 2018 amidst revelations of his affair with a staff member.
At the time, Mr McCormack was elected to replace him as leader unopposed and became Deputy Prime Minister under the terms of the Coalition agreement.
The two MPs have since gone head to head over the leadership of the party, with Mr McCormack defeating Mr Joyce in a vote for leadership in February 2020 following a spill motion.
He also held the position amid reports that members were unhappy with his leadership in October 2018, after former deputy prime ministers Tim Fischer and John Anderson backed him.
He was re-elected unopposed after the Coalition was re-elected in May 2019. The Nationals did not lose a seat in that poll.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: