Parkes MP Mark Coulton declines to comment on National Party leadership speculation | The Northern Daily Leader

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PARKES MP Mark Coulton is keeping his cards close to his chest as MPs jockey for the vacant deputy leader’s role of The Nationals. Mr Coulton has been among a handful of party members touted as a replacement for the role vacated by Senator Bridget McKenzie. However, Coulton, who is the Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government, would not be drawn on the leadership speculation, which will be made at a Nationals party room meeting on Tuesday. Read Also: Mr Coulton declined an interview with the Leader and said in a prepared statement the decision was one for the party room. “The leadership of the National Party is a matter for the party room, and I’m not going to speculate before tomorrow’s vote on who will be the next deputy leader,” Mr Coulton said in a statement. “My focus is on improving access to education, connectivity and health for rural Australians as Minister for Regional Services, and continuing to advocate in Parliament for my constituents in the Parkes electorate.” Have your say, send a letter to the editor. At this stage, five members of the National Party are tipped to put their hand up for the vacant position, including New England MP, and former party leader, Barnaby Joyce. Mr Joyce also indicated he would throw his hand up to be the National Party leader, should their be a leadership challenge with current Nationals leader Michael McCormack. Victorian MP Darren Chester, Queensland MP Keith Pitt and Lyne MP David Gillespie have indicated they will throw their hat in the ring for the deputy leader’s job. However, Water Minister David Littleproud is considered the front runner for deputy leader. Sign up to receive The Leader’s breaking news and top stories straight to your inbox.

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