Barnaby Joyce has been elected unopposed as leader of the National Party, as expected, in a meeting of MPs of the minority partner of the Coalition government in Canberra last night.
Joyce, who is currently agriculture minister and a skilled retail politician known for speaking his mind, will serve as deputy prime minister to Malcolm Turnbull.
He replaces Warren Truss, who announced his retirement from politics this week.
Joyce’s deputy will be Fiona Nash, the NSW Senator. Nash will be elevated to a cabinet position as a result of her appointment. It also means all four main political parties in Australia have female deputy leaders.
The AFR reports Turnbull will announce a cabinet reshuffle on Sunday, with Queensland MP Steve Ciobo the favourite to replace Andrew Robb as trade minister.
Robb, 64, resigned this week, saying he wanted to do some work in the mental health field before retiring.