Barnaby Joyce calls PM's criticism 'inept' and 'unnecessary' in live press conference.


Barnaby Joyce has hit out at Malcolm Turnbull, labelling the Prime Minister’s criticism of his affair as inept and unnecessary.

Mr Turnbull on Thursday took aim at his deputy, saying he had made a shocking error of judgement by having a relationship with an ex-staffer.

“(The comments by Mr Turnbull) caused further harm. I believe they were in many instances inept, and most definitely in many instances unnecessary,” Mr Joyce told reporters in Canberra on Friday.

“All it does is reinvest in the hurt that’s being felt by other people. All that is once more going to do is pull the scab off.”

Mr Joyce said the new ministerial code of conduct announced by Mr Turnbull will create “immense fodder” for the media.

“It is the prime minister’s code, we will support it, and we will do our best endeavours to see it through,” Mr Joyce said.

“It goes without saying that this will create immense fodder for the good people in the media and it will obviously reverberate across all political parties.”

Mr Joyce also addressed Mr Turnbull’s actions in intervening in National Party politics.

“In regards to the National Party, there is nothing that we dislike more than implied intervention into the party processes of the National Party. We are an independent political unit,” he said.

LISTEN: We discuss the fact Kate Langbroek’s blame for Barnaby’s affair falls largely on the shoulders of Vikki Campion (post continues after audio…)

The deputy prime minister used the media conference to again apologise to his family, political party and new partner for the hurt he has caused.

Mr Turnbull earlier told reporters in Tasmania he had not spoken with Mr Joyce today, nor had he asked for his deputy’s resignation.

Mr Turnbull yesterday call on his deputy to “consider his own position” and setting up a damaging showdown between the Liberals and Nationals after declaring an immediate ban on sex between ministers and staffers.

In a scathing assessment of Mr Joyce’s character following his ­affair with former staffer Vikki Campion, the Prime Minister ­described his actions as “appalling” and a “shocking error of judgement”.