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Barnaby Joyce to return as Australia deputy PM after party revolt

Barnaby Joyce will return as Australia’s deputy prime minister after a sudden leadership contest in the National party, the government’s junior coalition partner.

Mr Joyce defeated Michael McCormack in a party vote on Monday.

It follows growing concern from some National MPs over their party’s influence in climate policy.

The party, which represents farmers and rural voters, has 21 members in the governing centre-right coalition.

Over the past week, National party members voiced opposition to indications from the government that it is moving towards a 2050 net zero carbon emissions target.

At the G7 summit last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison displayed growing support for the target.

Critics of Mr McCormack said he had not been assertive enough about the National party’s stance within the coalition.

That set the backdrop for the leadership contest which Mr Joyce reportedly won by a narrow margin.

He is expected to push for changes in the coalition agreement.

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