Scandal-hit Joyce handed key role after party revolt

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 22 Jun 2021

A climate change revolt in Australia's governing coalition yesterday brought in a new deputy prime minister likely to challenge the country's already hesitant moves to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Barnaby Joyce, best known internationally for threatening to euthanize Hollywood star Johnny Depp's dogs, defeated incumbent Michael McCormack in a snap internal party vote, elevating him to the role of deputy PM.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison told G7 leaders last week that Australia wants to achieve net-zero carbon emissions preferably by 2050. McCormack had reportedly been accused by party colleagues of failing to push back against such climate action.

Joyce gained notoriety by threatening to put down Depp's two Yorkshire terriers over a quarantine violation in 2015.

He previously held the Nationals' leadership but stepped down in 2018 when it was revealed the married father of four had an affair with a young adviser and she was pregnant.

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