National Party ‘could be no more’: Barnaby

 

RENEGADES Barnaby Joyce and Matt Canavan have warned of the potential demise of the National Party during this parliamentary term during a no-holds-barred political podcast to be released today.

Joking he has "more time" after Mr Joyce's failed leadership bid, Senator Canavan (both pictured) questions his former boss about last week's spill and lays the foundation for a regular discussion that will rival the narrative of leader Michael McCormack.

The launch of Weatherboard and Iron - the same title of Mr Joyce's autobiography - comes after an about-face from Mr McCormack yesterday after The Courier-Mail revealed his office had planned a partyroom meeting in Melbourne next month just so National Party parliamentarians could claim travel expenses for their 100th year celebrations.

Barnaby Joyce with Matt Canavan recording the Weatherboard and Iron podcast. Picture: Gary Ramage
Barnaby Joyce with Matt Canavan recording the Weatherboard and Iron podcast. Picture: Gary Ramage

 

Initially, his office said it was in the rules but within a day the leader told Channel 9, "it doesn't pass the pub test".

"I've made it clear … if they want to go … should pay themselves. I don't get involved in the minutiae of how we're going to get somewhere, where we're going to get their, who might be coming, who might not be coming, whether it's … under the guidelines," he said.

However, today, focus will be sharpened on how Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien quit the Nationals to solely become a member for the LNP. It means Mr O'Brien will not sit in the Liberal or National partyrooms, but will be part of the Morrison Government.

It further complicated issues for Mr Morrison after the former cop won the vote to become deputy speaker of the House of Representatives.

"The big issue here is effectively Llew has created a new partyroom,'' Senator Canavan said, adding that he tried to talk Mr O'Brien out of it.

Mr Joyce said it created a problem for the Nationals. The LNP has 23 MPs in Queensland but they sit in their respective partyrooms.

 

Llew O'Brien sensationally quit the National Party. Picture: Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images
Llew O'Brien sensationally quit the National Party. Picture: Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images

 

If all Nationals in Queensland joined Mr O'Brien, it would allow them to have their own party status and the Nationals in Canberra would lose seven from their partyroom.

"If everyone who's in the LNP sits in the LNP and not in the National Party, then the National Party disappears. And our 100th year will be no more," Mr Joyce said.

"Here's one of the grabs for you. So maybe, just maybe, if Llew wasn't the deputy speaker and now sort of a stronger part of the team, Llew would be in the LNP and it wouldn't be long before other people would be in the LNP and you wouldn't have to worry about the National Party causing problems because the National Party would be no more."

There are many lighthearted moments in the 30-minute podcast but Mr Joyce also apologised to Senator Canavan, who resigned to support Mr Joyce - a decision that has cost his pay packet $150,000.

"Unfortunately Matt you lost your job and that's a huge loss for Australia … I'm not pissing in your pocket there. It really sort of tortured me … that was the thing that worried me the most about it," he said.



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