A conservative rural politician was on Monday (Feb 26) chosen to replace scandal-plagued Barnaby Joyce as Australia’s deputy prime minister after he resigned over an affair with his now-pregnant aide. We are the party for small business and farmers and we want to make sure that continues and that can only continue with a close relationship with the Liberals
Michael McCormack, 53, was chosen by the Nationals the junior partner in the governing Liberal-National coalition to take over as leader and deputy PM in a party-room vote. We are the party for small business and farmers and we want to make sure that continues and that can only continue with a close relationship with the Liberals.
McCormack, who had been serving as veterans’ affairs minister, was widely expected to win the leadership role after other Nationals MPs withdrew from the race. Maverick Queensland MP George Christensen launched a late bid for the leadership, but was defeated. The vote count was not released.
McCormack is not as well-known as Joyce, who made international headlines for threatening to euthanise Hollywood star Johnny Depp’s dogs over a quarantine violation. McCormack was first elected to the lower House of Representatives in 2010 representing Riverina, a rural region in southwest New South Wales state. More than two decades ago as a local newspaper editor he wrote a column in which he described homosexuality as “sordid behaviour”.