DEPUTY Prime Minister Warren Truss has declined to comment on his deputy's desire to lead the Nationals in Canberra.
Deputy leader Barnaby Joyce has told Fairfax he is "ready to lead" the party, ahead of this year's election and amid rumours Mr Truss will not go another term.
Mr Joyce has long said he will nominate for the role when Mr Truss is ready to retire, and not directly challenge him for the leadership.
A spokesman for Mr Truss said the Deputy PM would not be commenting on the latest reports quoting Mr Joyce.
While Mr Joyce remains the most likely contender for the position should Mr Truss retire, concerns have been raised within the party over the years about his vocal, attacking style.
However, no party members have publicly voiced any plans to challenge Mr Joyce in his pursuit of the leadership role.
Among those touted as potential deputies to Mr Joyce have been Michael McCormack and, to a lesser extent, Luke Hartsuyker.
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