‘I’m not surprised’: Joyce on spill rumours
BARNABY Joyce has sensationally declared he is not surprised he's being asked if he wants to roll Michael McCormack as pressure builds on the Nationals leader.
The former leader said he was not making calls to colleagues to build their support but would take on his old job if it was handed to him.
"I'm not surprised that journalists … would ask the question, come up and see me about it. That is not a surprise," he said.
"If it came up, if it was offered to me I would take it but I'm not counting for it, I'm not collecting the numbers."
Mr McCormack hit back at colleagues agitating for Mr Joyce's revival, launching an attack on Nationals MPs who called him "ineffective", "unknown" and criticised him for failing to stand up to the Liberal Party.
"I always put my name, always have … to a story, I don't listen to anything where people are not prepared to put their name to it," Mr McCormack said.
Mr Joyce said anyone who said he was leading the charge to depose Mr McCormack was "not telling the truth" in an interview on Sky News.
But Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon, who was sitting beside Mr Joyce, threw fuel on the fire.
"I'm surprised Barnaby's got time to (be here)," he said.
"My office is directly across the corridor from Barnaby's here in Parliament House and they're wearing the carpet out down my corridor at the moment.
"Some of them are journalists. It's been pretty busy out there."