Mr McCormack has just this morning been elected as leader of the Nationals, defeating George Christensen in a party room vote after his main opponent David Gillespie withdrew from the race.
The Member for Riverina replaces Barnaby Joyce who announced he was resigning as leader of the Nationals on Friday.
During the press conference announcing the change over, Mr Joyce was standing at the back, determinedly keeping an impassive expression on his face, when Mr McCormack was asked if he was just keeping the seat warm until Mr Joyce staged a comeback. Mr Joyce rolled his eyes and gave a small shake of his head, while others in the group laughed. He then rolled his eyes again and smiled as Mr McCormack responded, “I’ve been elected to do the job by the National Party,” Mr McCormack said, "I have grown and learnt not only to tolerate but to accept all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, or any other trait or feature which makes each of us different and unique.”
Pressure had been mounting on Mr Joyce ever since it was revealed that he had an affair with his staffer Vikki Campion. They are living together and due to have a baby in April. Mr Joyce will remain as the member for New England on the backbench.
Party whip Michelle Landry revealed her feelings, “That is very exciting. I would also like to say I bought myself a new whip this week to keep the boys in line in the party room," adding, "What happens in the party room stays in the party room.”