Herding Nats

The political machinations of the Nationals created an unwelcome distraction on Parliament’s first sitting day of the year. During a day ostensibly dedicated to recognising bushfire victims, an unexpected Nationals leadership spill saw Barnaby Joyce attempt to unseat Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack. Joyce supporter Matt Canavan resigned his Cabinet position on the eve of the spill. Fellow Cabinet minister Bridget McKenzie had already been forced to resign a few days earlier.