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John Barilaro comes under pressure to stand down as New South Wales Nationals leader

By Charlie Moore, political reporter for Daily Mail Australia:

Born to Italian migrants in Queanbeyan, John Barilaro left school to work in his father Domenico’s window frame and door manufacturer, Ryleho, which he later managed. 

A passionate soccer fan, Mr Barilaro – know by friends as ‘Barra’ –  helped found the Monaro Panthers Football Club and served as club president for eight years.

The businessman, a married father of three daughters, entered politics in 2008 when he was elected as an independent councillor for Queanbeyan City Council.

Three years later he became the state MP for Monaro representing the National Party and earned a reputation as a ‘brawler member’ – in his words – because of his combative approach to politics as a backbencher and a minister.

When he was made Nationals state leader in 2016 he declared ‘I’m a fighter’ and vowed to continue making demands for regional New South Wales even if it meant upsetting Liberal colleagues.

Nationals colleagues heaped praise on him for his work ethic, upbeat personality and for listening more closely to locals voters.

John Barilaro, a married father of three daughters, entered politics in 2008 when he was elected as an independent councillor for Queanbeyan City Council

‘We’re returning to our grass roots as a party and listening to what concerns are closest to people’s heart,’ said Clarence Valley MP Chris Gulaptis after the leader visited his electorate in 2017.  

In 2017 Mr Barilaro caused a storm when he called for then prime minister Malcolm Turbull to resign.

In an interview with radio host Alan Jones, he said Mr Turnbull ‘lacked leadership’.

‘Turnbull should give Australians a Christmas gift and go before Christmas,’ he said.

The comments forced Premier Gladys Berejiklian to distance herself from her deputy, saying he was only expressing a ‘personal view’.

They also angered federal MPs. Former attorney-general George Brandis described the comments as ‘the dribblings of some obscure politician who nobody outside of NSW has ever heard of’.

Federal Nationals MP Llew O’Brien even slammed the comments, saying in a tweet that Mr Barilaro should ‘focus on his role as vice-captain of reserve grade and let the big boys and girls take care of federal matters.’

The pair reportedly exchanged some choice words about the Twitter spat at an event on the Gold Coast before locals encouraged them to walk away.

In June last year, Mr Barilaro threatened to quit as deputy premier so he could more freely criticise the Liberal Party and demand better funding for the regions. 


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