After eight days of dissection in the press and debate on the floor of Parliament, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has finally issued his response to revelations about Barnaby Joyce’s workplace affair.
In an extraordinary press conference from Canberra this afternoon, Turnbull condemned his deputy’s “shocking error of judgement” in entering a relationship with 33-year-old former media adviser Vikki Campion, but stopped short of supporting calls for the National Party leader to step aside.
“Barnaby has given me, as I said in the House, an unequivocal assurance that he has complied with the ministerial standards… But I think we know that the real issue is the terrible hurt and humiliation that Barnaby, by his conduct, has visited on his wife, Natalie, and their daughters and, indeed, his new partner,” the Prime Minister said.
“Barnaby made a shocking error of judgment in having an affair with a young woman working in his office. In doing so, he has set off a world of woe for those women and appalled all of us. Our hearts go out to them.”
Though rumoured to be a long-held secret in Canberra, the father of affair finally landed in the news last week courtesy of a report by The Daily Telegraph. The story was accompanied by photographs of a heavily pregnant Campion, who is due to give birth to the 50-year-old’s child in April.