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Andrew Constance defends John Barilaro over fiery text messages

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NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance has defended Nationals MP John Barilaro, despite being sandwiched in a war of words between the state and federal Nationals leaders.

Mr Constance today announced that he has thrown his hat in the ring for the federal seat of Eden Monaro, just a few months after he’d said he would not go further in politics.

It sparked a series of furious texts from NSW Nationals Leader John Barilaro, who had his eye on the seat, to the Federal Nationals Leader Michael McCormack.

In the text messages uncovered by Sky News Mr Barilaro didn’t hold back.

“To feel threatened by me clearly shows you have failed your team and failed as a leader.

“You will never be acknowledged by me as our leader. You aren’t. You never will be.

“The Nats had a chance to create history, to change momentum, and you had a candidate that was prepared to risk everything to make it happen.

“What did you risk? Nothing. Hope you are proud of yourself.”

Mr Constance told Ben Fordham that John Barilaro is a passionate man and he brings that to his work.

“Barro’s amazing. He’s an awesome local member. He’s been amazing with bushfire recovery.

“He’s absolutely a fighter and he says ultimately what he thinks and feels.

“The key element behind all this, out there in community land at the moment, what they’re worried about is survival. They’re wondering how they’re going to get through this.

“I made this crystal clear, if he was going to run, I wasn’t going to.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview