WA Nationals call on Barnaby Joyce to step down

Peter Campion the grandfather of Deputy Primary Minister Barnaby Joyce's grandchild due in April

Peter Campion the grandfather of Deputy Primary Minister Barnaby Joyce's grandchild due in April

Nationals Senator Matt Canavan, who gave Ms Campion a job in his office after she was moved from Mr Joyce's office, defended his leader's position.

In a statement, Ms Davies said she had contacted the Deputy Prime Minister to inform him of the branch's decision.

Davies said in a statement she was concerned as WA leader at the "ongoing damage" Joyce was causing the Nationals' organisation.

The WA branch of the party does not have any federal MPs and will play no role in any potential vote on the leadership, but it was second only to the NSW branch in political donations last financial year, receiving $1.785 million.

None of the 16 National Party members of Australia's 150-seat federal parliament is from Western Australia so a loss of support from a state branch with no federal parliamentary presence is not expected to destabilise a government with a majority of only one seat.

In his reply Joyce pointed out the WA Nationals didn't have a federal MP - their last member (Tony Crook) spent his time "almost exclusively as an independent".

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, who will become acting prime minister on Wednesday when Mr Turnbull heads to the USA, reiterated Mr Joyce's future is up to his colleagues.

British comedian John Oliver has delivered a stinging roast of Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce over his affair with his former media adviser, Vikki Campion. The WA Nationals were also not in a state coalition and prided themselves on "their ferocious independence", he said.

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"Therefore I find it surprising that a federal issue has so much momentum in the West when people in the east in the National Party have in the majority a different view - and to be quite frank, vastly more skin in the game".

When the Nationals leader threatened to euthanise Johnny Depp's pet dogs Pistol and Boo when he snuck them into Australia in breach of strict quarantine laws, Oliver said: "I've got to say that's pretty ballsy".

Dr Drum said if Mr Joyce loses the support of the party's branches in Queensland, New South Wales or Victoria it will be hard for the federal members to ignore.

Asked about Ms Davies' statement, Senator Canavan said: "It's a sentiment I've heard from lots of people".

One party official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Mr Joyce's only hope of prolong his political career was to resign from the ministry and the leadership and go to the backbench.

Barnaby Joyce has rejected suggestions he be dumped as Nationals leader as a "witch hunt" (File). "I'm not going anywhere, I never would", Mr Joyce told Fairfax Media on Tuesday.

Michael McCormack - the Veterans' Affairs Minister touted as most likely to succeed Mr Joyce - fuelled leadership speculation further after repeatedly refusing to support the Deputy Prime Minister.

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