There’s been a lot of contention over whether Vikki Campion’s employment during her affair with Barnaby Joyce’s, 55, breached official ministerial code of conduct.
However, as stated by the office of Malcom Turnbull, there’s one stipulation that means that technically the affair did not breach the ministerial code of conduct.
Under Section 2.23 of the code, “close relatives and partners are not to be appointed to positions in their ministerial or electorate offices and must not be employed in the offices of other members of the executive government without the Prime Minister’s express approval.”
A spokesman for the prime minister told AAP that Joyce had not breached ministerial standards because Campion was not his "partner" at the time she'd been given the roles.
Family members, including partners, can't be employed by members of the government "without the prime minister's express approval."
Since Campion wasn't technically the 33-year-old Joyce's partner, and still isn't listed as his 'partner' on official records, they didn't legally breach parliamentary rule.
While the couple now live together, and are expecting their first child, they weren't at the time of her transfers last year.
It's believed that after Campion left the Deputy Prime Minister's office in April of 2017, she was given an unadvertised and newly created role with Resources Minister Matt Canavan before moving to the office of then-chief Nationals whip Damien Drum. It was expected that her salary was around $190,000.
Despite this, during today's question time, members were still calling for the official release of documents that justified the creation of these two high-paying roles.
However, the Prime Minister is standing firm on his decision to support Joyce, clearly stating today that, "the distribution of those staff members between National's officers, is a matter for the National party."
It's believed that Campion and Joyce first met when she began as his media adviser after the 2016 national election.
As it stands the Deputy Prime Minister will be serving as acting prime minister next week when Turnbull travels to the United States, a fact which was confirmed by the Prime Minister today.
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