John Barilaro
John Barilaro

Nats call meeting to deal with NSW shambles

Following calls for Deputy Premier John Barilaro to quit, the Nationals NSW chairman will call a meeting of the national executive to discuss issues plaguing the party.

It comes after messages were leaked in which Deputy Premier John Barilaro lashed out at federal leader Michael McCormack.

Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams issued a statement on Sunday calling on NSW leader John Barilaro to quit over actions that "embarrassed" the party and "infuriated" the community.

Nationals NSW Chairman Andrew Fraser told The Daily Telegraph he would call a meeting of the party's powerful executive "to discuss media reports and the Eden-Monaro situation (where Mr Barilaro expressed an interest in contesting the by-election, but then decided not to)".

"All members have been advised to refrain from social media and media comment," Mr Fraser said.

"Despite that there are some members that took it upon themselves to leak and brief to the media, which is in breach of party constitutional rules," he said.

 

Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams says Mr Barilaro had ‘embarrassed’ the party. Picture: Joel Carrett/AAP
Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams says Mr Barilaro had ‘embarrassed’ the party. Picture: Joel Carrett/AAP

Yesterday Education Minister and Nationals MP Sarah Mitchell threw her support behind John Barilaro, saying "he's an excellent leader of the Nationals".

Ms Mitchell said any MPs who were unhappy with the leadership should raise those concerns "within the party room, not through the public or through the media".

Premier Gladys Berejiklian also said she supported Mr Barilaro, who "is an outstanding advocate for the bush".

Nationals MPs will hold a regular party meeting on Tuesday, following Ms Williams' sensational call for the leader to quit or give a "timeline as to when that will happen".

Mr Barilaro has previously said he will not contest the 2023 election.

"The party leadership is decided by the parliamentary party. If parliamentary members have any dispute with the leader they have an opportunity to move a spill," Mr Fraser said.

Party sources contacted by The Daily Telegraph did not expect Ms Williams to move a spill motion against the leader, with multiple sources suggesting she did not have the numbers to oust Mr Barilaro.

Originally published as Nats call meeting to deal with NSW shambles