McCormack is new National party leader and Deputy Prime Minister

Partners: Riverina MP Michael McCormack is the new Deputy to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull after Monday's National Party room meeting.
Partners: Riverina MP Michael McCormack is the new Deputy to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull after Monday's National Party room meeting.

Riverina MP Michael McCormack is the National Party leader and Deputy Prime Minister after a Party room vote in Canberra on Monday morning.

The Member for Riverina confirmed on Friday afternoon he would ask his colleagues to back him for the top job.

George Christensen also stood for leader but was defeated by Mr McCormack.

The Nationals would not release the winning margin to the media.

Mr McCormack said huge trust, faith and responsibility had been placed in him to lead the National Party.

"I will honour that faith and trust and responsibility by doing my best always,” he said.

“I am a team player and I am going to be doing it with the very best team in rural and regional Australia.

Mr McCormack congratulated Mr Christensen for also putting his hand up to lead the party.

“I congratulate George Christensen for putting up his hand. He gave an outstanding speech as he always does,” he said.

“It is democracy, that is the National Party. We talk openly about things with each other once the doors shut. We are a party that is united going forward.”

The new Deputy Prime Minister had high praise for departing leader Barnaby Joyce.

“I want to acknowledge Barnaby Joyce for his leadership of The Nationals over the past two years and thank him for being a true advocate for the needs of regional areas. His legacy will endure. I wish him well for the future,” Mr McCormack said.

Mr Joyce flagged his resignation in Armidale on Friday following weeks of controversy after it was revealed he was expecting a baby with former staff member, Vikki Campion. Further heat was placed on Joyce to consider his position when it became known that Campion had also been given high-paying jobs in the offices of two of his colleagues that no-one else had the opportunity to apply for.

Senator John Williams had publicly backed Mr McCormack for the top job, as did Parkes MP Mark Coulton.

Mr McCormack described himself as a “fighter” who could deliver for National party constituents.

“I am a fighter and I have the drive to deliver. When water rights were challenged in my electorate, I crossed the floor to get a better deal. When a big American company came knocking to take over GrainCorp, I stood up for our farmers and opposed it,” he said.