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Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce will face a leadership challenge when the party room meets next week.

Former minister Darren Chester confirmed overnight he will stand against Joyce when the party meets in Canberra on Monday.

Victorian MP Darren Chester will have his portfolio of Veterans Affairs moved into cabinet.
Victorian MP Darren Chester will challenge Barnaby Joyce for the leadership of the National Party. (Dominic Lorrimer)

“We need to be honest with each other in the party room and take some responsibility for the Liberal losses in the city,” Chester, who was veteran affairs minister in the former Morrison government, said.

“How we develop our policies, deliver our message, and work with our Coalition partners in the future will determine whether we can return to government and deliver for regional communities.”

While the Nationals retained all 16 lower house seats in Saturday’s federal election, the Liberal Party lost many once-safe electorates in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, with many falling to “teal” independents.

Some Liberals have blamed Joyce’s criticism of the Coalition’s net-zero carbon emissions target as damaging their chances in inner-city and suburban seats.

Criticism of the Coalition net-zero emissions target by Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce angered some Liberal MPs during the election campaign. (AAP)

Nationals MPs expect former federal agriculture minister David Littleproud to also challenge for the leadership on Monday.

Meanwhile, Sussan Ley is seeking to become only the second female deputy leader of the Liberal party, with Peter Dutton to stand unopposed for party leader.

Liberal and Labor HQs tell two different stories

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