UPDATE @ 8.00 AM | Australia officially has a new Deputy Prime Minister.
Veterans Affairs Minister Michael McCormack was this morning elected as the new Nationals leader at a special party meeting in Parliament House.
“I want to make sure that people know that in me they will have a fighter. I have a huge challenge ahead of me,” Mr McCormack said following the appointment.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
It comes after Barnaby Joyce formally stood down following weeks of controversy surrounding his relationship with a former staffer, with whom he is now having a baby with.
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) February 25, 2018
EARLIER @ 6.45 AM | After weeks of controversy, Barnaby Joyce is set to formally resign as leader of the Nationals and Deputy Prime Minister today.
Joyce will make the move to the backbench at a special party meeting in Parliament House at 8.00am.
It’s expected Veterans Affairs Minister Michael McCormack will become the new Nationals leader.
Barnaby’s resignation comes after it was revealed he is expecting a baby with his former staffer Vikki Campion.
When announcing his plans to resign at a press conference on Friday, Mr Joyce said he now hopes the public intrusion into his life will stop.
“It’s s incredibly important that there be a circuit-breaker, not just for the parliament, but more importantly, a circuit-breaker for Vikki, for my unborn child, my daughters and for Nat,” Mr Joyce said.
“This has got to stop, it’s not fair on them. It’s just completely and utterly unwarranted.”