Published: Fri, February 23, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Barnaby Joyce Will Step Down

Barnaby Joyce Will Step Down

PM Malcolm Turnbull is now in the USA, with Mathias Cormann now Acting Prime Minister.

The under-fire Mr Joyce called a press conference in Armidale at 4pm NZT.

Assistant Families Minister David Gillespie could put his hand up to replace Mr Joyce, amid reports the NSW Nationals MP has indicated to colleagues his willingness to run if the party leader resigns.

It went from bad to worse for Mr Joyce this week.

The National Party yesterday confirmed it had received a formal complaint against Mr Joyce, which the ABC understands was in relation to an allegation of sexual harassment involving a West Australian woman.

He said the "leaking and backstabbing" had to stop, and defended the National Party's record as an advocate for rural and regional Australia as well as a Coalition partner.

He was forced to deny a sexual harassment allegation as "spurious and defamatory" on Thursday.

"Barnaby Joyce is the leader of the National Party of Australia".

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull suggested his deputy "consider his position" a week ago but Mr Joyce instead forged ahead with a lengthy series of press interviews.

Mr Joyce had been under huge pressure to stand down since an affair with former staffer and now partner Vikki Campion was revealed.

Prior to the current scandal Mr Joyce faced problems of a different sort, being ruled ineligible for parliament in late 2017 due to a previously unknown New Zealand citizenship.

Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese again called for Mr Joyce to resign, criticising his decision to do media interviews during a week of leave.

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