Former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce has threatened to sit on the crossbench and destroy Scott Morrison’s one-seat majority in federal Parliament over the abortion debate.
The maverick NSW MP issued the threat on Thursday night after it emerged his state colleagues are furious with his interventions in the NSW decriminalisation debate and have explored the idea of expelling him.
“I am not going to deal with another whisper campaign,” Mr Joyce told The New Daily.
“Come out and say in public that you want me out. I believe I am entitled to that.”
In politics you have to fight the hard fights not just easy ones. I believe the other side of this debate is not being heard and I have a duty to ventilate it.
This legislation must go to a committee so others can have the same right, to ventilate an alternate view. pic.twitter.com/2BQciRChth
— Barnaby Joyce (@Barnaby_Joyce) August 1, 2019
While a majority of Nationals in NSW Parliament support taking abortion out of the criminal code, Mr Joyce does not.
He has joined protesters outside Parliament railing against late-term abortions and gender-selection terminations.
Mr Joyce said he made no apologies for criticising the Berejiklian government for its failure to consult about the abortion laws.
“The idea, as I have said, that you walk into the political hall and throw unannounced a philosophical haymaker and then complain about the reaction is absurd,” Mr Joyce said.
“The idea that you ram it through with an inquiry with a reluctant three days of hearings – whilst inquiries into caged hens and koalas go over months – is completely arrogant.
“The idea that legislation allows a person, who at the same point in time could be viably born, to be left to die or killed is just wrong.”
Ms Berejiklian has issued a veiled rebuke to Mr Joyce, describing abortion as a state matter.
NSW Nationals leader John Barilaro has also urged him to stay out of it.
Mr Joyce has also come under fire from his daughter, with the teenager taking to Instagram to oppose her father’s stance on abortion.
His daughter wrote “once again I do not support you” over an image of Mr Joyce speaking at an abortion rally in Sydney.
Relationships with his four daughters have been strained since he left his first wife Natalie for his former press secretary Vikki Campion.
The couple now have two sons.