SPECULATION is suggesting Barnaby Joyce is about to announce he will step down as leader of the federal Nationals.
Mr Joyce has called a 2pm press conference in Armidale.
Sources close to Mr Joyce and within the NSW Nationals have indicated they believe he will step aside as leader, following unprecedented pressure in recent weeks, triggered by revelations of his affair with a staffer, when he was Agriculture and Water Resources Minister, who is now his partner.
“It’s been a massacre by media,” one source said.
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Mr Joyce faced renewed pressure yesterday when Victorian Nationals MP Andrew Broad publicly stated his leader needed to step down and move to the backbench, and that he’d be moving a motion challenging the leadership, next Monday in Canberra.
Calls to Mr Joyce’s office have not been returned while others members of the federal party have also been contacted for comment but have not responded.
A claim which Mr Joyce has denied was also raised yesterday over an allegation of sexual harassment involving a West Australian woman which was one of the reasons behinds the WA Nationals indicating they did not support him as leader, earlier this week.