Australia Barnaby Joyce must 'rebuild trust' after Nationals leadership spill, WA leader Mia Davies says
Barnaby Joyce set to return as Nationals boss three years after affair
Barnaby Joyce is set to return as Nationals leader three years after his affair with a staffer became public. Joyce stepped down as the party's head and deputy prime minister on February 26, 2018, when details of his relationship with former press secretary to ex-Treasurer Peter Costello, Vikki Campion, became national headlines.Support for the 54-year-old has been gaining momentum, with a source inside the Nationals telling the Financial Review he is preparing to overthrow current leader Michael McCormack.'Barnaby's got the numbers and the plan is to call a spill on Monday,' they said.
West Australian Nationals leader Mia Davies says it is disappointing there has been a leadership change at the party's federal level and it is up to Barnaby Joyce to rebuild trust.
Ms Davies, who is also the state Opposition Leader,following revelations of his affair with former staffer Vikki Campion.
"Three years on, it's now up to Mr Joyce to rebuild that trust and to prove his focus is very much on regional Australia and making sure that we've got a government that's ready to take us to the next election," Ms Davies said.
Joyce circles McCormack as Nationals' MPs consider switch
The Nationals leader has vowed to fight off any potential challenge when the 21-member junior Coalition partner returns to Canberra on Monday for the final parliamentary sitting week before the winter break. Mr Joyce, Mr McCormack's predecessor, said on Sunday he would not call on a spill motion for the second time in 15 months but his supporters believe his personal numbers have grown since falling short in a secret leadership ballot in February 2020. Nationals' party protocols ensure the ballot result is not made public.
She said the federal party's decision to switch from Michael McCormack back to Mr Joyce was destabilising.
"I had a good working relationship with Michael McCormack," Ms Davies said.
"I'm disappointed the party felt they needed to change leaders. I think it shows they're focused on internal matters instead of the people of regional Australia."
Joyce caused 'ongoing damage': Davies
In February 2018, who was pregnant with his child at the time.
She said at the time Mr Joyce had lost the support of the party in Western Australia because of the "ongoing damage" he was causing the party.
In response, Mr Joyce questioned the WA branch's commitment to the federal Nationals.
Facing the issue
Good morning, early birds. Mask rules have ramped up in New South Wales after a COVID-19 cluster across its eastern suburbs yesterday increased to nine, and Nationals leader Michael McCormack could today be facing a leadership challenge by Barnaby Joyce. It's the news you need to know, with Chris Woods.NSW Health has now identified 25 priority exposure sites spanning Barangaroo, Bondi Junction, Drummoyne, Fairy Meadow, Newtown, North Ryde, Northmead, Redfern, Shellharbour, Sydney, Tempe, and Vaucluse, as well as dozens of other casual contact venues and public transport routes.
But amid continuing pressure over his extramarital affair,
That same month, Catherine Marriott, 2012 WA Rural Woman of the Year, hadwith the federal branch of the National Party.
Ms Davies previously said she had received a complaint from Ms Marriott, and referred it to the then federal Nationals president Larry Anthony.
Ms Marriott had not intended to make the allegations public, but details of the complaint and her name were subsequently leaked.
Mr Joyce has always categorically denied Ms Marriott's allegations.
WA Nationals 'worked hard for women'
The WA Nationals are affiliated to the National Party of Australia but have their own separate structure.
Ms Davies said the WA Nationals worked hard to make the party a safe place for women to be involved.
"Myself and others in the party have gone to great lengths to try and address some of the concerns we see across political parties, not just at a state level but at a federal level," she said.
Ms Davies said she stood by her comments calling for Mr Joyce to stand down in 2018, saying his leadership had become untenable.
There are no federal Nationals MPs from WA.
Nationals reshuffle sees some old hands return to the frontbench under Barnaby Joyce's leadership .
The Nationals frontbench has a makeover after last week's leadership spill saw Barnaby Joyce oust Michael McCormack as leader of the party. Here's who's in and who's out of Cabinet, to be sworn in on Friday.In: Barnaby JoyceAfter three years on the backbench and one unsuccessful tilt at the leadership last year, Barnaby Joyce again stuck his hand up for the Nationals' top job earlier this week.After a spill motion was moved by Queensland senator Matt Canavan, Mr Joyce was elected the party's new leader.