Barnaby Joyce has been sworn in as Deputy Prime Minister after Michael McCormack was ousted as leader of the National Party.
The new Nationals leader has resumed the position he held from February 2016 to February 2018, when he resigned after revealing he was expecting a child with a former staffer.
He said his three years on the backbench had led him to reflect on his impact on others.
Mr Joyce said he’s returned to the role as a “better person”, with a promise to increase the government’s chances of re-election and vowing to stand up to Prime Minister Scott Morrison on issues like climate policy.
National Party president Kay Hull told Today she was not aware of the spill before it happened.
“I don’t think anybody knew that there was a spill on in any way, shape, or form until very few minutes before it happened,” Ms Hull said.
“I think these things can happen in a party room. I’ve sat in a party room.
“They can happen without the knowledge of too many other people, so it happens in every part of politics.”
When asked if the leadership change was a “knifing”, Ms Hull said she was “not that sure”.
“That is your interpretation of it,” she said.
“The party room made a Democratic decision to change their leader. They’ve done that.”
Ms Hull denied the National Party “needed saving”, despite the change in leadership.
“That is the democracy of the party room,” she said.
“They have heard two people speak to them yesterday. They have made a choice. That’s their role.
“That’s their prerogative within that party room. And now we go forward.”
David Littleproud will remain as deputy leader of the party, with his position not contested.