‘Struggles’: NSW Nationals leader John Barilaro takes four weeks’ mental health leave

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The NSW Nationals party leader, John Barilaro, is taking mental health leave from parliament following a tumultuous 10 days during which he threatened to blow up the Coalition government over koala protections before backing down.

Barilaro, the deputy premier, told his party room colleagues by text message on Friday afternoon that he would take up to four weeks’ leave to work on his mental health.

In the text, Barilaro apologised for not being the leader they wanted him to be, but stressed he would not have acted differently on the issue of koala protections.

He said some of the party room knew of “his struggles” and he intended to work on these issues during the break.

Barilaro’s leave is likely to act as a circuit breaker regarding the crisis within the Coalition and means his…

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