Nationals backbencher Llew O’Brien has quit the party following Barnaby Joyce’s failed leadership bid, it has been reported.
Mr O’Brien told Prime Minister Scott Morrison of his decision to resign on Sunday night, according to The Courier-Mail.
The move is another hit to the Coalition following weeks of drama within the National Party including Mr Joyce’s attempted leadership challenge and the resignation of Bridget McKenzie amid the sports rorts scandal.
Mr O’Brien, a decorated policeman turned member for Wide Bay in Queensland, was among those supporters of Mr Joyce who were last week threatening to cross the floor and block coalition legislation after the failed leadership bid.
He had raised eyebrows last week after changing his Facebook profile photo to a picture of him and Senator McKenzie hiking.
In response to criticism, he wrote “Bridget is a good person who failed to register her interest in a sporting shooters club when she should have under the ministerial guidelines and that is why she stood down.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison was last week trying to reassure voters tensions within the Nationals’ ranks would not impact government unity.
“The Coalition is between the Liberals and the Nationals. And that Coalition has always provided very stable and very good government for this country,” Mr Morrison said in Canberra.
“The Coalition will always be strong. And the leaders of the parties have always worked closely together for the good of the country.”
Mr O’Brien is understood to have been given the right to stay in the LNP but won’t be able to sit in the party rooms, the newspaper said.
He will still give the government supply.
Mr O’Brien was said to be unhappy with a number of matters including the use of entitlements in the National Party.