Saturday, 26 May, 2018

Barnaby Joyce denies boozy awards night allegations; apologises to family

Aussie deputy PM facing increasing pressure to stand down over intra-office affair Deputy Australian PM Barnaby Joyce told to resign over affair with ex-employee
Herman Weaver | 15 February, 2018, 14:13

Figures for the period September to December, when Mr Joyce told Parliament that his marriage was over, have not yet been made public by the Parliamentary Expenses Authority.

Senior coalition figures have expressed concern that further damaging revelations could yet emerge about Mr Joyce's conduct, with some believing his position as Deputy Prime Minister is untenable.

Then there have been occasions where an office affair has turned sour and ultimately led to legal action and/or claims of unfair dismissal, such as the high-profile case involving Seven West Media's CEO Tim Worner in 2017 who had an affair with his now former executive assistant Amber Harrison.

"I'd like to say to Natalie how deeply sorry I am for all the hurt this has caused".

Mr Christensen's office has been contacted for comment.

The Minister made a statement outside Parliament House on Tuesday, where he issued a public apology to his family.

Mr Joyce fronted the media this morning and apologised to his family for his affair with former staffer Vikki Campion; but there was no word on his future in politics.

He said that Campion worked on his federal election campaign as a media advisor in 2016, and later joined his staff until April a year ago, when she went to work with Canavan in a role for which he said she was "well qualified". A friendship subsequently developed and that became, over time, more.

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His late night rant included claims "everyone" knew about Mr Joyce's affair, and apparent threats to out other Conservative MPs who were "f***ing around".

"She was well qualified for the role, was an existing and obviously capable staff member and the change was within the existing Nationals staff arrangement".

Joyce has four children with his estranged wife, Natalie.

When pressed on the allegations of infidelity surrounding the Deputy PM, the new senator told Devine she'd "hope and pray for the Joyce family". She was Joyce's media adviser and was reportedly on his payroll when the affair began and the impregnation took place.

"As (politicians) we try for the best values in our personal life, but everyone does go through a rough patch", she said.

The clock is ticking on the resolution of the issue, with Malcolm Turnbull due to leave the country next week, which would make Joyce the acting prime minister - a development some hard heads regard as politically untenable.

At an impromptu doorstop in Canberra on Tuesday evening, the minister for veterans affairs, New South Wales National Michael McCormack, did not answer questions about whether the party had lost confidence in Joyce and whether colleagues would move against him, but denied that he had spoken to the deputy prime minister directly about standing down. Joyce said that his 24-year marriage with his wife Natalie was "under pressure for some time".

He added: "I think that every child has a right, absolute right to know her or his mother and father and also... should be given the greatest opportunity to know their biological mother and father".

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