Chester falls short in Nationals leadership challenge

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has been defeated in the battle for the National Party leadership in Canberra today. David Littleproud has been elected as the new leader with Perrin Davey deputy.

Tom Parry

Gippsland MP Darren Chester has lost his challenge to lead the Nationals.

David Littleproud was confirmed as the new federal leader of the National Party at a party room meeting held Monday morning in Canberra, replacing Barnaby Joyce.

Mr Chester had announced his intention to nominate for the Nationals leadership last Friday, following the Liberal-National Coalition’s defeat at the recent Federal Election.

“I think it’s important that we listen to the message that we received over the weekend from the Australian people,” Mr Chester told ABC News Breakfast about his decision.

“I think they want us to be more moderate and more respectful in public debates in this country, they want a calmer democracy, I guess, and I think I can offer that to the room.”

Speaking to the Gippsland Times last week, Mr Chester admitted that he was unlikely to secure leadership of the Nationals, pointing to the fact that his party had not been led by a Victorian MP in five decades.

The Liberal Party also chose a new leader on Monday, with Peter Dutton elected unopposed and Sussan Ley chosen as his deputy.

More to come.