Former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce has laid claim to being the “elected deputy prime minister of Australia” and declared he would have no guilt in seeking a return to the leadership if a spill was called.
In an extraordinary interview, Mr Joyce said he would not challenge Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack but said he could replace him “if certain events were to occur” amid an internal row on coal power.
“I am not going to call a spill, I am not looking for numbers,” Mr Joyce told ABC Radio National on Monday morning.
“If there was a spill and the position’s vacant, I am the elected deputy prime minister of Australia, so I’d have no guilt at all in standing, but I don’t see that happening.”
Mr Joyce also questioned the reliability of government data on greenhouse gas emissions.