NSW Nationals trash Turnbull. We saw the disgraceful display by Turnbull after Barnaby (halal) Joyce won the New England by election. Turnbull was right on the bandwagon claiming it was his victory. Fact is that there was no-one of any decency up against Joyce. Yet the Nationals deservedly trash Turnbull.
NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro appeared to be wrong-footed today in his tale of what inspired his call for Malcolm Turnbull to resign by Christmas, spending a 20-minute media conference saying he had not premediated the spray, before refusing to deny a report that he gave Premier Gladys Berejiklian prior warning.
Mr Barilaro backed himself to remain as NSW Nationals leader this morning despite being slapped down by the federal Nationals and Ms Berejiklian for telling 2GB presenter Alan Jones on Friday that the Prime Minister should go.
“One of my strengths and one of my weaknesses is that I wear my heart on my sleeve,” he said.
Mr Barilaro appeared as Acting Premier of the nation’s biggest state this morning, declaring his position in politics had been exaggerated.
“You guys have made me out to be more than what I am, I’m just a deputy premier of NSW, I said a few lines on Friday and you guys have been reporting it for three days, you have made a big issue on it,” he said.
Federal Attorney-General George Brandis savaged Mr Barilaro in the Senate today, declaring hardly anyone knew who he was.
“I’m more interested in the observations people made the following day in National Party heartland of New England,” he said. “Not the dribblings of some obscure politician who nobody outside of NSW has ever heard of.”
Mr Barilaro, who is leading the NSW government while Ms Berejiklian is overseas, continued his commentary on the federal government this morning while admitting his relationship with Mr Turnbull was “broken”.
“At the end of the day what was missed on Friday is a clear message that this has come from mere frustration, the mere frustration from the people on the ground I speak with and that was the fear that we will end up with a Bill Shorten government,” Mr Barilaro said, before offering commentary on today’s Newspoll.
“I think the polls today show clearly there is a lot to be done by the Liberals and Nationals but the movement is in the right direction, the great news from the weekend was the resounding win of Barnaby Joyce in the seat of New England.”
Mr Barilaro admitted his comments brought “anxiety” to Mr Joyce, which is why he did not attend the New England by-election party like other prominent Nationals.
“I stayed home and had a lovely weekend with the kids,” he said.
He would not say why he failed raise the issue of Mr Turnbull’s leadership with either the Prime Minister or Mr Joyce before airing them publicly on 2GB radio on Friday.
He also refused to answer who would be a suitable replacement for Mr Turnbull.
He said the Friday interview was not a stunt aimed at increasing his public profile because he had not intended to raise the issue of Mr Turnbull’s leadership when he agreed to the interview with Jones.
After saying multiple times he had not premeditated the call for Turnbull to resign — or the “Christmas gift” catchphrase that went with it — he was reminded of a report in the Daily Telegraph that revealed he spoke to the Premier on Thursday night and told her the spray was coming.
Ms Berejiklian reportedly tried to talk him out of wading into the leadership debate of the federal government.
“I am not actually going to confirm or deny that story because the conversations I have with the Premier are private,” he said.
Mr Barlilaro said his “strength” and “weakness” was that he wore his heart on his sleeve.
He recounted a tale of when he was three months into his parliamentary career and called on the then NSW planning minister Brad Hazzard to resign from parliament over a decision.
“I learnt quickly they are not the sort of things you can do,” he said. “As I said my strengths and weakness is sometimes I reflect the peoples view and my comments came out but at the end of the day the comments are driven by the fear of a Bill Shorten government.”