Michael McCormack will be Australia’s new acting Deputy Prime Minister and the new leader of the Nationals Party as of Monday. McCormack was elected this morning after he had defeated George Christensen in a party room vote.
David Gillespie was also in the running for the role but had withdrawn from the race earlier. The New South Wales MP withdrawn himself from the running on Sunday afternoon with rumours of David Littleproud taking his place but was never confirmed.
McCormack will be replacing Barnaby Joyce after he confirmed that he would be going to the backbench as of Friday. Joyce’s stepping down comes after two weeks since the controversy of his private life making its way into the media. There has also been a sexual harassment claim filed against Joyce that he contests.
Even after stepping down and trying to get out of the spotlight of the media, Joyce managed to attract more attention during the televised press conference. The announcement of McCormack to replace him was followed with a question asking if he was simply keeping the seat warm until Joyce made a comeback. Joyce’s eye roll accompanied with the rest of the party laughing was followed by McCormack’s response stating that he has been elected to do a job by the National Party.
Since McCormack has been elected to represent Australia as the new Deputy Prime Minister his past views on same sex marriage have once again surfaced to discredit the decision by the Nationals Party. In 1993 McCormack had wrote an article in The Daily Advertiser where he described gay people as unnatural and were solely responsible for the AIDS epidemic.
He stated that the disease that they helped spread across the world doesn’t wipe out humanity then they’re here to stay. He also mentioned that how can these people call for rights when they’re responsible for the greatest medical dilemma.
Since then, McCormack has apologised profusely about the column and has stated that he no longer holds those views and had mentioned that he had voted in favour of same-sex marriage. During the height of same-sex marriage discussion McCormack stated that he had grown and learned to accept all people regardless of any feature or sexual orientation that they may have.
Many people who were in favour and spokespeople for the cause were aware of the column and have acknowledged that it was written a long time ago. People’s opinions change with time and using that column to discredit the new Deputy Prime Minister is simply taking it out of context.