The Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and the Nationals leader, Michael McCormack has declared himself a 'fighter' after internal party conflicts for leadership. In a recent interview with a news channel on February 12, McCormack also claimed that he has retained the support of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. The Nationals leader was challenged by the former leader Barnaby Joyce who had stepped down from his position in 2018 due to controversies surrounding a child he reportedly had with a former staffer.
“You haven’t seen just how much of a fighter I am. I’m determined to continue to do the job that I have done for two years,” he said in an interview with an international broadcaster.
Just the past week, the party witnessed a series of damaging stories about the Nationals party members, from both sides, the MP's who supported Boyce and McCormack related to the travel entitlements and declarations. Joyce had also argued that McCormack had not stood by the rural constituents of the party, many of whom are reportedly still struggling with protracted drought and devastating wildfires.
However, amid the political turmoil, McCormack withstood the challenges posed by Joyce and maintained to be the party leader after replacing the later two years ago. Even though the party did not disclose the margin by which Australia Deputy PM exceeded Joyce, it was confirmed in a ballot of 21 Nationals MP's. McCormack also said that it is 'great honour' and 'privilege' to have been returned as the party leader.
Today's ministerial appointments demonstrate @The_Nationals’ ongoing commitment to delivering for regional Australia.— Michael McCormack (@M_McCormackMP) February 6, 2020
The team is the right mix of experience & new talent enabling the Govt to keep providing the services our regional communities need & deserve. #RegionsMatter pic.twitter.com/0ENww3kZZp
The Nationals are the junior partner to Morrison's conservative coalition government. The Australian PM came into power when his own Liberal party ousted the former leader in 2018. Even before the results of the internal party conflicts of the Nationals were revealed, Morrison had vouched for the coalition being 'strong'. The same meeting also elected government minister David Littleproud as the new deputy leader of the party. The former deputy leader, Bridget McKenzie had resigned from the Cabinet on February 9 for violating the ministerial rules.