Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Instead Of Resigning, Barnaby Joyce Is Going On "Holidays" Next Week

Instead Of Resigning, Barnaby Joyce Is Going On

Malcolm Turnbull has told Barnaby Joyce to "consider his position" during his leave next week as the prime minister relieved him of duties as the nation's acting leader.

"Barnaby has made a shocking error of judgment".

Late Thursday, Turnbull announced that ministers "regardless of whether they are married or single, must not engage in sexual relations with staff".

Mr Joyce has been under vast pressure this week due to revelation he had an affair with a colleague, who is now pregnant with his child.

Turnbull denounced the affair at a press conference in Canberra after a week in which the scandal threw his centre-right government into turmoil and strained the alliance between his Liberal Party and Joyce's National Party.

"It's been an extraordinarily hard time for the. party and clearly for Barnaby Joyce and his family and for the government", Anthony told reporters.

Joyce's appointment as acting PM has been a subject of concern in Parliament after questions surrounding whether Joyce had followed the code of ministerial conduct were raised in regards to Campion's employment.

- Joyce reveals in parliament in December he is separated from his wife of 24 years, Natalie.

The role will instead be taken up by Mathias Cormann, the government's leader in the Senate.

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- Campion provided media advice to Joyce, despite her working in other offices.

Mr Joyce was due to step in as acting prime minister while Mr Turnbull was away, in line with usual convention.

Momentum for a fresh coup early in the week died down as Nationals MPs came out one by one arguing that Joyce deserves more time to rebuild credibility.

"It's quite clear that I did not approach Mr Maguire for assistance", Mr Joyce said.

Mr Turnbull said Mr Joyce would be on leave for a week from Monday.

"I have to admit I was unaware of that $5000 payment", he said. And while not denying that the pair were indeed a couple when Campion was moved again from Canavan's office to that of MP Damian Drum's office, Joyce noted that Drum wasn't a minister at the time - which meant, effectively, Drum was not subject to the ministerial code of conduct that prevents politicians from giving jobs to their partners or family members.

The standards say that ministers "must not seek or encourage any form of gift in their personal capacity". And the Senate passed a motion, 35 votes to 29, for the deputy PM to resign for breaching ministerial standards.

It then revealed that Mr Joyce hosted a Department of Agriculture dinner at the Quality Hotel Powerhouse in Armidale, owned by Mr Maguire.

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