Barnaby Joyce has put a message to the Prime Minister to show some loyalty and join him on the backbench should there be a second leadership spill, while also urging the Liberal Party to “get it over quickly” if there is to be a change.
On Thursday Malcolm Turnbull launched a thinly veiled threat to quit parliament, triggering a byelection in his seat of Wentworth, should a majority of Liberal MPs vote for a spill on Friday, however Mr Joyce claims he would be turning his back on his electorate and supporters.
“He asked and received loyalty in a parliament with a one seat majority - it would be incredibly unfair to those that showed him that loyalty,” he said.
“I put a message to him stating that he can’t put at risk a parliament that he led. He should go to the back bench and continue to serve the community.”
At the same time Mr Joyce threw his support behind Mr Turnbull keeping the top job, stating he has “always supported staying with an elected Prime Minister.”
Meanwhile Parkes MP Mark Coulton has come out swinging at the Liberal Party for neglecting the rest of Australia.
On Thursday he told media in Canberra “the people I represent are absolutely fed up to the back teeth with what is going on.”
“They don’t care if someone is to the left or the right, or wet or dry, they just want to be led,” he said.
“While this goes on we must not forget what is going on around the rest of Australia ….the eastern states are in severe drought.”
Mr Coulton also fired a parting shot at some unnamed former politicians turned political commentators for undermining the political system.
“I have had a gutful of political commentators, whose only claim to fame is their own failure when they had a go, undermining and bringing down the political system and then feigning outrage when it collapses.
“If we don’t stop that cycle in Australia...then God help the future.”
New England Country Labor representative Yvonne Langenberg said that the Liberal Party dealings this week are “almost making it too easy for us”, as the coalition government falls apart at the seams.
Ms Langenberg said that while “it has been an amazing week” Tuesday’s unsuccessful leadership spill, and Thursday’s second leadership challenge has been “a very disappointing display while Australia is facing some very serious issues.”
“It is quite shameful and depressing that the current government is so obsessed with their own in fighting,” she said.
“I wasn’t surprised that it happened on Tuesday, but it is unbelievable that it boiled over again less than two days later – it is disappointing that the Libs couldn’t resolve this on Tuesday.”
The Armidale based political debutante announced her candidacy less than two months ago.
“Labor has been very united for a very long time so we already thought we had a good chance anyway, especially after the the byelections,” she said.
“Now it is almost too easy for us – but you never know.”
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.