The fight for the NSW seat of New England has reached new heights after Tony Windsor accused Barnaby Joyce’s camp of suggesting he had cheated on his wife in the latest Nationals campaign ad.
Independent candidate Windsor has called for an apology from the Nationals leader and demanded the withdrawal of the “offensive gutter ad” which he says has “deeply upset” his wife.
The ad depicts two women chatting over coffee when one receives a text message from Windsor that reads: “Hey New England, how about another chance?”
“He wants me to take him back,” the woman tells her unimpressed friend. “It was okay for a time, I guess. ”
Her friend then reminds her: "Yeah, but then he ran off with Julia," referring to Windsor's key support of the former minority government headed by Julia Gillard.
The woman then says while she "sometimes" misses him, "things have changed and I've moved on."
"And you're doing so well without him," the friend says.
The woman recalls it ended "badly" last time, says she doesn't know "how serious he is" and agrees she can do better.
The ad ends with her replying via text message: "Not this time, Tony."
In a statement, Windsor said: "They can throw whatever criticism at me but when it involves and upsets my family that's another matter."
In a tweet, Windsor also appeared to imply both Joyce and his campaign chairman James Treloar were up to their own philandering. It is understood he later revoked the claim.
Joyce & Treloar shd withdraw offensive gutter ad inferring philandering with women. These two should be the last to raise this issue #auspol
— Tony Windsor (@TonyHWindsor) June 26, 2016