The Minister for Veterans Affairs, Michael McCormack was elected unopposed as leader of the Nationals as well as Deputy Prime Minister, as a result of Barnaby Joyce’s resignation that happened this morning.
In a public statement, McCormack said that great trust, faith and responsibility has been bestowed upon him.
“I will honour that faith and trust and responsibility by doing my best always. I am a team player and I am going to be doing it with the very best team in rural and regional Australia,” he said.
However, George Christensen surprised everyone when he made a bid for the leadership position, although the National Party members hoped for a smoother transition of power with no obstacles.
The official results of the vote still have not been released, but Christensen in a statement released Wednesday morning conceded his defeat and congratulated Mr McCormack.
“I expressed my views on the need to change the current political direction the Nationals are moving in, in a Facebook post over the weekend,” he said, adding that his colleagues do not agree with his views, and that’s what democracy means.
According to Olbrycht-Palmer Media Group, Barnaby Joyce will now sit on the backbench and Mr McCormack will be promoted to Cabinet.
Meanwhile Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull congratulated the new Deputy Prime Minister and remarked on how persistent the Coalition has been.
“The Liberal Party has been in coalition with the Nationals for more than 70 years and our enduring and successful political partnership will continue under Michael’s leadership of the National Party,” he said.