By Jeremy Sollars
Our local Maranoa MP David Littleproud is being touted as a possible contender for the leadership of the Nationals – and Deputy Prime Minister – after Barnaby Joyce announced his resignation from both roles today.
Mr Littleproud was elected to federal parliament at the July 2016 election and was appointed Agriculture and Water Resources Minister just before Christmas.
Also said to be in the mix are Nationals MPs David Gillespie, Darren Chester and Michael McCormack, with Mr McCormack considered by most political commentators to be the frontrunner for the leadership at this stage.
The Nationals will hold a party room meeting in Canberra on Monday where Mr Joyce will formally cease in his roles, after which he will move to the backbench as simply the MP for New England.
A new leader is expected to be chosen at the meeting.
The Free Times is seeking comment from Mr Littleproud about his possible leadership aspirations.Mr Littleproud issued a statement late today, Friday 23 February, praising Mr Joyce as “the best Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister in living memory”.
“Mr Joyce led The Nationals into the 2016 election campaign, when the party took all before it, holding all its seats against the swing and gaining the extra seat of Murray,” Mr Littleproud said in his statement.
“Mr Joyce has been one of the great communicators of our time.
“He fought for the people who live on dirt roads, the people in the brick and tile houses and for better opportunities for all.
“Mr Joyce has always been a powerful advocate for rural, regional and remote Australia and will continue to be.”