New Deputy PM and Minister for Infrastructure

New Deputy PM and Minister for Infrastructure

New Deputy PM and Minister for Infrastructure

Australia will have a new deputy prime minister after Barnaby Joyce won a leadership contest today in the government's junior coalition partner the National party.

Joyce, who will be sworn in as deputy prime minister on Tuesday, said his party will only support an energy policy that bolsters the government's appeal in regional Australia - which is heavily dependent on fossil fuel mining.

Mr Joyce will take the reigns as Scott Morrison's Deputy, forcing the PM to reshuffle part of his frontbench.

All this is happening as Prime Minister Scott Morrison is still in the United Kingdom after the G7 summit, dealing with an emergency virtual Cabinet meeting to address Australia's failing vaccine rollout. "It is not Barnaby policy - it's Nationals policy", he said.

Earlier that morning, Joyce had said there was "no prospect of a spill".

"I'd like to see the federal partyroom focus on the interests of rural and regional Australians", she said, adding she had a strong personal relationship with departed leader Michael McCormack, who she was disappointed to see go.

On June 21 the Federal National Party released a statement confirming that Mr Joyce had replaced Mr McCormack as its leader.

Joyce previously held the Nationals' leadership but stepped down in a 2018 scandal when it was revealed the married father-of-four had an affair with a young adviser and she was pregnant.

"We need to ensure that we give our children, our grandchildren, the strength and the liberties and the capacity to say what they like and the capacity to be what they want to be".

"I think he's done a good job for the last three-and-a-half-years", she said.

Several women from Mr Joyce's New England electorate told The Daily Telegraph they supported their local MP taking up the leadership.

LNP Senator Matt Canavan moved the spill which saw Barnaby Joyce returned as leader of the National Party.

"I will uphold the dignity of that chair as I have always done".

"Good for him, everyone has their moments and in small towns like ours there's dirt on lots of people", Ms Murray said.

Fronting the media with his wife Catherine, Mr McCormack said he respected the outcome of the spill and wished Mr Joyce well. "It's called democracy", he said to the press directly after he was thrown out.

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