At least one Nationals MP wants the future of leader Barnaby Joyce settled in the next 24 hours.
Source: 1 NEWS
The deputy prime minister is hanging on to his job despite some of his colleagues pushing him to resign following the public exposure of his extramarital affair with a former staffer.
Mr Joyce's relationship with his now pregnant partner Vikki Campion has raised concerns about the potential misuse of taxpayer funds after she was shuffled around posts in the offices of other senior MPs.
"I hope this doesn't go on too much longer," Nationals backbencher Ken O'Dowd told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.
"I'd hope to have it resolved today or tomorrow."
Mr O'Dowd does not think any of his colleagues will move against Mr Joyce, preferring instead to have "a talk" to him about his future.
"Someone needs to tell him where the party stands at this stage."
Mr Joyce told a meeting of coalition MPs yesterday he was determined to get through this "time of trial".
Ministerial colleague Michael McCormack, who has twice missed out on becoming deputy leader, denied having conversations with colleagues about replacing Mr Joyce.
"No I haven't," he told reporters on Tuesday night.
Cabinet minister David Littleproud, promoted by Mr Joyce in a ministerial reshuffle, said that "of course" his leader had the support of most Nationals MPs.
"There's no leadership to be resolved," he told ABC radio.
"We need this to be dealt with quickly. But those that want to keep this issue lingering on need to put up or shut up and leave him alone and leave his family alone."
Mr Littleproud took aim at the media for its coverage of Mr Joyce's personal affairs.
"The media themselves are fascinated with the titillation of the details of this and they're just trying to perpetuate it into as long an issue as they can."
Backbencher Michelle Landry believes the party should give Mr Joyce "a bit of personal time to sort this out".
"As far as I'm concerned everything is above board with the offices and he's there to stay," she told reporters.
"I believe that Barnaby will remain our leader - I think we need to give him a fair go with it."
A group of about four or five Nationals MPs is believed to be trying to get Mr Joyce to resign, but don't have the numbers in the 21-member party room to force a change.
Mr Joyce has denied breaching the ministerial code of conduct, which says frontbenchers cannot employ "close" relatives or partners or get them work in other ministerial offices "without the prime minister's express approval".
He has argued Ms Campion was not his partner when she worked in his and Matt Canavan's office.
Damian Drum was not a minister when she transferred to his
Former Nationals leader Warren Truss said the situation needed to be resolved quickly.
Ms Campion, 33, is due to give birth in mid-April.
Mr Joyce, 50, separated from his wife Natalie after 24 years of marriage in late 2017.