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Nationals MP denies spill but says they lost a ‘strong leader’ in Barnaby Joyce

Nationals Senator John ‘Wacka’ Williams is denying a leadership spill in his party is on the cards, but admits Barnaby Joyce is their “best message seller”.

There’s speculation Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack will be challenged by Barnaby Joyce for the leadership as early as next week.

On Wednesday, Mr Joyce said if the job was offered to him he’d take it but he’s not “collecting the numbers”.

Mr McCormack maintains he has the support of his party-room, a claim his colleague Senator Williams is backing.

“I think he does. I’m in the dark here… I find this amazing,” Senator Williams tells John Stanley.

“I’ve not had one phone call from a colleague, I’ve not had one colleague come across to my office and say, ‘Listen, what are we doing about the leadership? How are the numbers going?’

“To the best of my knowledge, there’s no spill on. I’m reading about it in the media which is pretty disappointing.”

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Although Mr Williams has denied a spill is on the horizon, he’s labelled Barnaby Joyce’s demise as “disappointing”.

“We lost a strong leader, our best fundraiser, our best message seller. You name it, he was a package-in-one.

“That was probably the most disappointing thing that I’ve seen in my time.”

Senator Williams says Mr McCormack has to do more to sell the party’s message.