Federal Politics

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Delegation should visit Joyce over leadership, Nationals MP says

Nationals MP Ken O'Dowd says the crisis surrounding Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce's leadership must be resolved in the next 48 hours and a delegation of MPs should visit Mr Joyce to discuss his future.

But two of his colleagues have rallied around Mr Joyce, saying he has the support of the party room and will remain leader.

Mr O'Dowd said he hoped the saga stemming from the Nationals leader's affair would soon end.

"In the next couple of days, I'd like it settled," he told reporters outside Parliament House on Wednesday morning.

"I heard there is going to be someone go across to see him. I think he'll probably need the advice and someone needs to tell him where the party stands at this stage and it'll be a cordial meeting."

Mr O'Dowd said he didn't think the party would force Mr Joyce out but urged his leader to listen to the concerns of the party room.


Asked if there was a viable alternative for Nationals leader, the Queensland MP said: "We got 20 people in the National party room. A lot of capable guys there and, if it come to the point, we would find a good leader, I feel sure about that."

"I don't think the party will move on him but the party will probably talk to him and discuss the future of Barnaby and the future of the National Party."

Agriculture and Water Minister David Littleproud said Mr Joyce had "achieved more for regional and rural Australia than probably any other deputy prime minister in our history" and said he had the support of Nationals MPs.

"We need people like Barnaby Joyce, the strong advocates that understand regional and rural Australia," Mr Littleproud, who was promoted by My Joyce in last year's ministerial reshuffle, said.

"There's no leadership to be resolved. The reality is that, as we stand at the moment, the Deputy Prime Minister is Barnaby Joyce, he'll continue to have the enjoyment, the support of the National Party party room."

Mr Littleproud said Mr Joyce had done nothing wrong, according to the law, and his critics needed to "put up or shut up".

Michelle Landry, the Nationals chief whip, said she believed Mr Joyce would keep his job.

"He has done a lot for us, particularly in regional Australia and I think we need give him a fair go with it," Ms Landry said.

"It's his personal life. As far as I'm concerned, everything is above board with the offices and he's there to stay."

Mr Joyce will be Acting Prime Minister next week when Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull travels to the United States.