Nats MP calls on Bara to quit deputy role
A Nationals MP has broken ranks, calling on John Barilaro to quit as Deputy Premier.
Leslie Williams issued a statement on Sunday afternoon saying Mr Barilaro needs to quit as leader, or outline when he will stand aside.
The Port Macquarie MP is the first Nationals MP to speak out publicly against Mr Barilaro, following his scrap with Andrew Constance over the upcoming Eden Monaro by-election.
Ms Williams said she was "both frustrated and deeply disappointed" in the party's leader.
She said Mr Barilaro has "embarrassed" the party by his actions, which have "infuriated" the community.
It comes after The Daily Telegraph revealed Mr Barilaro referred to his coalition colleague Andrew Constance by another, unprintable, 'c' word - in a private remark.
"Now more than ever before, we need leaders who are committed to their communities and the State, and who demonstrate through their action professionalism, respect, honesty and integrity," Ms Williams said.
"The actions of the Deputy Premier over the past fortnight have not reflected this. Our members feel let down, our party embarrassed and the community infuriated."
Ms Williams said that because Mr Barilaro has indicated he will not run for re-election in 2023, he needs to quit now or say when he will stand aside.
"Two and a half years out from the next State election it is necessary for the NSW Nationals to have a definite timeline as to his intentions - in either vacating the leadership or providing a timeline as to when that will happen," she said.
"We need to get on with our work for regional NSW without further distractions."
Ms Williams, who was a minister between 2015 and 2017, holds the prestigious role of Deputy Speaker in the lower house. She is also on the Nationals State Executive.
One Nationals source described Ms Williams as a "lone soldier" in calling for Mr Barilaro's resignation, saying she does not have the support from the party room.
The source said Ms Williams should "consider" her position as deputy speaker if she is unsuccessful in unseating Mr Barilaro.
Previously, former Deputy Prime Minister and respected Nationals elder John Anderson slammed politicians for bickering over the Eden Monaro by-election, telling The Daily Telegraph he was "profoundly disappointed" by the actions of Mr Barilaro and Mr Constance.
When contacted by Daily Telegraph, the Deputy Premier's office could not provide a comment.
Originally published as Nats MP calls on Bara to quit deputy role