Nats MP to return if elected, leader says

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack is confident crossbench MP Kevin Hogan will officially rejoin the Nationals if re-elected.

Nationals leader Michael McCormack is adamant NSW MP Kevin Hogan will not help Bill Shorten form a Labor government.

The quasi-independent has said he would review his crossbench status after the May 18 election, but remained tight-lipped about officially joining the Nationals.

"Kevin Hogan will not supply confidence to a Bill Shorten government," Mr McCormack told AAP in Cairns on Sunday.

Mr Hogan is facing a tough battle in his northern NSW seat of Page which rests on a 2.3 per cent margin.

Last year he made good on his threat to sit on the cross bench after Malcolm Turnbull was dumped as prime minister.

Mr Hogan continued to vote with the coalition and attend Nationals party room meetings, securing party pre-selection despite his actions.

"He wasn't prepared to back down having made a statement that he didn't want to see any more leadership squabbles," Mr McCormack said.

"I think people would want to see that in a politician - if they say something, then they back it up."

Asked whether Mr Hogan was still a Nationals MP, Mr McCormack said: "Of course"

"I'm confident Kevin Hogan will sit with the Nationals after the election," the Nationals leader said.

"I've had a chat to Kevin Hogan and a very good chat. He's going very well in his electorate."

Mr McCormack said Mr Hogan represented a different constituency than many other Nationals MP.

"We've got very different electorates and the important thing about winning government is winning seats," the deputy prime minister said.

"Kevin Hogan says what he needs to say for and on behalf of the people of Page."

Mr McCormack said all regional Australians wanted basic services provided under strong economic management.

2 min read
Published 28 April 2019 at 5:46pm
Source: AAP