Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Barnaby Joyce affair: Wife sought counselling from priest

Barnaby Joyce affair: Wife sought counselling from priest

A shadow has been cast over Mr Joyce's position as Deputy PM and Nationals Leader after revelations he has been in a relationship with a former staffer.

Joyce is facing mounting pressure on multiple fronts, including whether there were any breaches of the government's ministerial code of conduct, which explicitly forbids ministers employing partners, and also forbids the partners of ministers being employed in other offices without "the prime minister's express approval".

A handful of federal Nationals politicians are angling for Barnaby Joyce to give up the party's leadership, but the deputy prime minister is digging in.

'There will be a frank exchange in the National Party room today, ' Mr Uhlmann said on Monday.

Questions are now being asked about Ms Campion's employment during her time with the federal Nationals, after the media advisor previous year moved from Mr Joyce's office to the office of minister Matt Canavan and later to the office of Nationals whip Damian Drum.

'The situation is devastating, for my girls who are affected by the family breakdown and for me as a wife of 24 years who placed my own career on hold to support Barnaby through his political life, ' her statement read. "And he's answered that", the prime minister said. Seriously, this stuff has to stack up before you start reporting it, ' he said. Joyce's private decisions are a public talking point, the government's biggest distraction, his party's sharpest liability.

Mr Joyce is expecting a child with Ms Campion after it was revealed he with his wife of 24-years, Natalie, with whom he shares four children.

The Canberra insider, whose husband works for the Prime Minister, told ABC Insiders the "sun is setting" on the Nationals leader's career.

"The story, it's not a case that I didn't recollect it, it did not happen", he told reporters.

The Daily Mail has contacted Mr Joyce's office for comment.

'I just think the sun is setting on his career, and I can't see how he can survive'.

"There are headlines I would rather not see, but I don't control the headlines", he said.

He noted Mr Joyce had said that freedom of information requests had not uncovered any breaches.

Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek said the opposition would continue to ask questions about the use of taxpayer funds, after it was revealed Mr Joyce began an affair with Ms Campion while she worked for him.

(AAP) Ms Campion, 33, is reported to have undertaken the role of media adviser after Mr Canavan was forced out of office.

Vikki Campion was two months pregnant with Barnaby Joyce's fifth child while his wife sought counselling for their failing marriage.

Senator Williams said he accepted Mr Joyce's assurances that no public money was misspent, but he also noted that he could not be sure what claims had been lodged.

"I had no knowledge of the relationship between Mr Joyce and Ms Campion at the time", said Senator Canavan - who was Mr Joyce's chief of staff before entering parliament.

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