BARNABY Joyce has hit back at reports his own party has threatened to boot him over his relentless campaign to tank the bill proposing to decriminalise abortions in NSW.
Tensions flair this week as Mr Joyce lent his voice to a robo-call and led a rally in Sydney, with his state colleagues furious at the New England MP for stepping in to a state matter.
"If it is the view - and I don't know if it is - of my state colleague that I shouldn't be in the National Party, hold a press conference and say so," Mr Joyce said.
"But I won't stop representing the people of New England as their elected MP."
It is extremely unlikely the NSW National MPs would ever follow through with the move, as it would force Mr Joyce to sit on the crossbench as an independent, leading to the federal government losing its one-seat majority.
However, it highlights the division created by the decriminalisation bill.
Mr Joyce denied he was the one provoking friction within the Coalition.
"It's not me deepening divisions, that's the person who brings on the debate," he said.
"You can't throw a wild hay-maker and then say no violence in the pub."
Mr Joyce insisted he was pushing his own view "as a resident of NSW" and would "never be bold enough to say there is an electorate view".
The former Nationals leader was critical of the short time frame to debate the bill.
"We had a koala inquiry that went for months, we just had an inquiry in to caged chooks that went for four months," Mr Joyce said.
"Yet we have three days of debate for this. It was bowled up without any notice.
"We need to allow the proper space on this most divisive and deeply personal issue, to allow people to express their views to their parliamentarians."
NSW Nationals chair Andrew Fraser said there was no truth to reports the party was looking to expel Mr Joyce, however preferred the New England MP concentrate on federal issues.
Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader Michael McCormack rejected calls for his predecessor to be kicked from the party.
"Barnaby's free to speak his mind," Mr McCormack said.
He's a backbench member of the Coalition Government and he is very passionate about this topic. Fact is, he's speaking his mind as he sees fit.
"It's a big call to ask him to not stand in the National Party anymore and I certainly wouldn't do that.
"I think he is doing some very good things in the federal seat of New England and I know concentrating on federal issues, Barnaby is going to make some good value and some good decisions in the future as well for us in the seat of New England in the federal sphere."