Barnaby Joyce has claimed he would feel no guilt in challenging Michael McCormack for leadership of the National Party again, if a spill was to occur.
The 51-year-old made the bold statement on Monday morning during an interview with ABC Radio, claiming while he’s not “looking for numbers” he would stand for the job should current leader McCormack be ousted.
As former deputy prime minister and Nationals leader, Joyce said he would be eager to take on the role – if and only if certain events took place.
“I am not going to call a spill, I am not looking for numbers,” he claimed on the radio station. “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.”
The controversial former politician went on to say he is in no way looking for a spill, especially during such a crucial time in politics.
“People say ‘oh, the leadership’s toppled’ – no, it wouldn’t be, because I’m the elected leader at the last elected federal election,” he explained to the ABC. “But I’m not sourcing the job out. I’m certainly not looking for a spill. Certainly do not want that in budget week, absolutely do not want that.”
He added: “But I’m not going to buggerise around with weasel words when you know exactly what the game plan is if certain events were going to occur, but they’re not going to occur.”
It was then that the ABC reporter chimed in to confirm that Joyce would not feel guilty if he was to take over from McCormack.
“So when you make that point that you’re elected as deputy prime minister at the last election, so you wouldn’t feel any guilt. Doesn’t that sound a bit like a sense of entitlement?” she queried.
To which Joyce promptly replied: “No it doesn’t because the entitlement comes from the Australian people at the next election and that’s not so much entitlement, it’s responsibility, a reflection of their views.”
Early last year the father-of-five was forced to resign from his position due to an affair with Vikki Campion. The couple welcomed their first child Sebastian Curtis Scott Joyce to the world in April of last year and are expecting their second in June.
Back in January, Joyce confirmed reports that he and Campion will be growing their family this year in footage obtained by 7 news.
“I want to put an apology for Vikki, [who] couldn’t make it up today, but we are actually having another child called Tom. So there you go,” he said.