BREAKING: Llew O'Brien to call motion for leadership spill
WIDE Bay MP Llew O'Brien is set to move a motion for a leadership spill for the Nationals today that could see MP Barnaby Joyce return to the helm of the party.
"I will be calling for a spill for the position of leader at the Nationals party room meeting tomorrow," he said in a statement.
"Anything further is matter for the party room."
Hinkler MP Keith Pitt is expected to put his hand up for deputy leader after the resignation of Bridget McKenzie, the ABC reported yesterday. Mr McCormack yesterday insisted he still had the support of his National Party colleagues.
This comes as ousted Nationals Party deputy leader Bridget McKenzie refused to rule out a future return to cabinet. Nationals MPs will meet in Canberra on Tuesday to vote for a new deputy leader after Ms McKenzie resigned over the sports rorts scandal.
"If there is a spill then I will put my hand up," Mr Joyce told the Seven Network.
Mr McCormack thanked Ms McKenzie for her service, saying his former deputy had "paid the ultimate price" for failing to declare membership of the Wangaratta Clay Target Club in Victoria - an organisation that received funding under the community sport program. "She's admitted this was an oversight on her part," Mr McCormack said.
Ms McKenzie said she was "very proud" of the sports community grant program she administered as Sport Minister and her promotion as Australia's first female Agriculture Minister.
EARLIER: Hinkler MP Keith Pitt and member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien have both declined to comment on a potential leadership battle within the National Party.
But neither politician would be drawn into whether they would support the current leader or if they would support Mr Joyce returning to the leadership.
Nationals MPs will meet in Canberra today to vote for a new deputy leader after Bridget McKenzie resigned over the sports rorts scandal.
There are rumblings Mr McCormack could face a spill at the same meeting.