January 23, 2021

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‘I’m the leader’: McCormack insists he’s not stepping down

2 min read
<p>Michael McCormack has no intention of stepping down from the leadership of the Nationals and says he will lead the party into the next election, dismissing suggestions he's about to be rolled.</p>

Michael McCormack has no intention of stepping down from the leadership of the Nationals and says he will lead the party into the next election, dismissing suggestions he's about to be rolled.

Media reports suggested Nationals and Liberal figures want Mr McCormack to stand aside ahead of the next election to allow Deputy Leader David Littleproud to take over and re-establish stability.

"I'm not quite sure why it was written in that way," Mr McCormack told ABC television's Insiders program.

Michael McCormack in Canberra this morning.

"The fact is - I'm the leader and I'm going to lead the Nationals to the next election."

It's been a tortuous couple of weeks for the deputy prime minister.

First there was the loss of his Nationals deputy Bridget McKenzie due to the sports grants scandal.

Then there was an unexpected leadership spill, where he managed to fight off former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce.

This was followed by the loss of one his members, Llew O'Brien, from the Nationals party room, who was subsequently voted in as a deputy Speaker in the House of Representatives, against the will of the Morrison government.

Asked if he thought there was a concerted campaign to get rid of him as leader, Mr McCormack said: "I've now put myself to the party room as a leader three times in less than two years."

"And three times in less than two years, I've been endorsed as the party's leader. That should be enough to draw a line under that discussion."

Nationals Queensland senator Matt Canavan, who stepped down from the ministry to back Mr Joyce in the leadership spill, said the party has "moved on".

"It's been a rough couple of weeks. The decision was made," he told Sky News.

"Michael has my support, he is the elected leader of the party room and that is what we've got to move forward with."

He saw no prospect of another leadership challenge

"I'm not going to predict debates in the future but I cannot see that happening," he said.

Mr McCormack said first and foremost, his party must deliver for regional Australia.

"Whether that's me changing my leadership style a little bit, I think we all, every one of us in the national party room, needs to stop concentrating on ... self-indulgence," he said.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/michael-mccormack-will-not-step-down-from-nationals-leadership-politics-news/44e49ea5-2bf0-45d2-9ab9-2e6fd4fa906b

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