Minister slaps down Nationals agitators

Minister slaps down Nationals agitators.jpg

Senior Nationals MP Darren Chester (AAP Image/Rohan Thomson)

Senior Nationals MP Darren Chester has struck out at colleagues agitating for Barnaby Joyce's return to the federal leadership.

Mr Chester has thrown his full weight behind Michael McCormack after some Nationals described the deputy prime minister as "ineffective" and criticised him for failing to stand up to the Liberal Party.

"He has the values that I think Australian people want to see in their regional leader," Mr Chester told Sky News on Wednesday.

"He's obviously a personal friend of mine and I back him 100 per cent and I think he has strong support across our partyroom."

Mr Chester, the minister for defence personnel, described Parliament House as a "nest of rumours and innuendo".

"This is speculation, it's paper talk, it's unnamed sources," he said.

"It's rubbish and Michael McCormack has the support of the partyroom."

Mr McCormack has also hit out at his internal critics.

"These inside Canberra games you are playing, they will come back to bite you, don't worry about that," he told parliament on Tuesday.

"Look in the mirror and ask if that is really serving the people of Australia."

© AAP 2018