Nationals leader Michael McCormack will support Barnaby Joyce if he runs again, but insists the final decision rests with party members in his electorate.
Mr Joyce has torpedoed attempts to blast him out of parliament, declaring he would re-contest New England at the next election.
Mr McCormack stressed he would support any Nationals candidate who got the support of local branch members, including Mr Joyce.
"If he puts his hand up, good luck to him. The leader doesn't get to choose his team," Mr McCormack told Sky News.
"I'll welcome any person who gets pre-selected for the National Party."
Mr McCormack said leaving the decision to grassroots members was the "beaut thing" about his party.
"If the local members decide Barnaby is their man, then he has to face the voters of the electorate," he said.
Mr Joyce is digging in after labelling some of his unnamed colleagues "scum" in a paid television interview about his affair with former media advisor Vikki Campion with whom he now has a six-week-old baby.
"Of course I am running again - the first people I would tell if I wasn't would be the electorate," he told the ABC on Tuesday.
"I'm still working for New England, I'm having meetings in the electorate today."
Australian Associated Press
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