Barnaby Joyce: Australia PM's remarks 'inept', deputy says

Barnaby Joyce Called A Presser Purely To Sook About “Inept” Malcolm Turnbull

Barnaby Joyce Called A Presser Purely To Sook About “Inept” Malcolm Turnbull

Joyce, whose National Party is in a coalition with the prime minister's Liberals, will take leave next week, allowing him to side-step the role of acting leader while Turnbull is on a visit to the United States. "But he did not come into my office and say, I am having an affair with this woman". Joyce has so far resisted calls to quit either his seat or his cabinet spot, including a motion that passed the Senate calling for his resignation, since leaving parliament would put the government's narrow one-seat majority at risk.

Since news of the impending birth broke last week, Turnbull has supported Joyce and declined to comment on his personal circumstances out of respect for his estranged wife of 24 years and children.

The recent reports exposed how Campion was shunted between the offices of different government politicians as the affair became more widely known, provoking claims of nepotism and favoritism.

"He has set off a world of woe for those women and appalled all of us".

Earlier, speaking on behalf of a stunned Nationals Party room Nationals Senator John "Wacka" Williams said the Nationals would decide who their leader is, not the Liberals.

Despite the conflict, the Deputy PM has denied the pair could no longer work together, saying he wants to make sure the relationship with Mr Turnbull gets "back on even keel".

Later on Thursday, Turnbull made a second surprise statement, announcing that the ministerial code would be updated to expressly forbid sexual relations between ministers and staff.

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"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.

Turnbull on Thursday said Joyce, a married father of four, had shown a "shocking error of judgment" for conducting the affair with his former press secretary, who is now pregnant, and called on his deputy to consider his position.

"Comments by the Prime Minister yesterday at his press conference ..."

"In regards to the National Party, there is nothing that we dislike more than implied intervention into the party processes of the National Party".

"I am not here to moralise", Mr Turnbull said.

"My ministers know the public has high expectations of them and I expect them to meet those expectations", she said on Friday. It is a very bad workplace practice.

Barnaby Joyce at his incendiary press conference today.

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