Despite Barnaby Joyce saying he’d throw his hat into the ring to lead the Nationals, one of his colleagues wants Warren Truss’ reign to continue.
Senator Bridget McKenzie refused to be drawn into leadership talk on Friday, but said her party has a “sensible and stable” approach to transitions when they do happen.
“The reality is Warren Truss is the leader of the Nationals, he’s fabulous, long may it continue,” she told ABC radio.
Senior Liberal Christopher Pyne expects Mr Joyce will be chosen to replace Mr Truss if he does stand down.
“He would be an excellent deputy prime minister,” Mr Pyne told the Nine Network.
“He speaks for rural and regional Australia in a very clear-eyed way, he stands up for small business … he has a very focused view on creating jobs.”
But Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese raised concerns about Mr Joyce’s ambition.
“The scary thing about this prospect isn’t deputy prime minister Joyce, it’s acting prime minister Barnaby Joyce,” he said.
“Just say that slowly and think about it.”
Mr Albanese said he was sure Australia would get more international attention if Mr Joyce was Nationals leader “given his propensity for gaffes”.
“Threatening to kill puppies I’m not sure was the smartest way to go,” he added, citing Mr Joyce’s public demands for Hollywood actor Johnny Depp to remove his dogs from Australia.
Mr Truss is weighing up his future in federal parliament ahead of the next election.