Member for Page Kevin Hogan with deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce talking to the Daily Examiner.
Member for Page Kevin Hogan with deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce talking to the Daily Examiner. Adam Hourigan

Hogan long-shot to become Deputy PM

THE odds on who will take over for Barnaby Joyce as Deputy Prime Minister are up, with Page MP Kevin Hogan sitting in the middle at $22.

Mr Joyce announced he would be stepping down as leader of the Nationals party at 2pm today, which has now sparked the question, who will be taking over?

However, Mr Hogan said he will not be throwing his hat in the ring.

"We have a number of people who I think will make a good Deputy Prime Minister and leader of our party,” Mr Hogan said.

"The convention is that person would come from the ministry and have some ministry experience, so I won't be doing that.”

Sitting at number one is Michael McCormack at $1.44, but Mr Hogan said he speculates new comer David Littleproud may also join the race.

"Obviously it has been touted that Michael McCormack will put his hand up,” Mr Hogan said.

"One member of cabinet, while relatively new, David Littleproud may well put his hand up (as well) but I haven't had that confirmed.”

Mr Joyce will be joining the backbench from Monday, and the party feels confident it will be a smooth transition, unlike the Liberal Party's dilemma with Tony Abbott.

"I think there is a big difference here, Barnaby is going from his own free will,” Mr Hogan said.

"We haven't kicked him out, we haven't had a ballot and removed him, which is what happened with the previous leader of the Liberal Party.”

"I don't get from him, the way that I know him, that he would be a vindictive person.”

In a statement from Senator Bridget McKenzie, she said Mr Joyce's decision to stand aside was the right decision for the National Party, the nation and most importantly his family.

She also acknowledged the leadership of Barney Joyce and praised him for re-energising and growing the party, while in the position of Deputy Prime Minister since 2016.

"He has always lead from the front and his colleagues and our party membership always knew who he was fighting for in Canberra,” Ms McKenzie said.



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