Barnaby Joyce 'resisted' removing girlfriend Vikki Campion from office

Ms Campion is pregnant with Mr Joyce's child- his fifth- after he split last year from his wife

Ms Campion is pregnant with Mr Joyce's child- his fifth- after he split last year from his wife

The office of the Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has said he was unaware of the relationship between the deputy prime minister, Barnaby Joyce, and former staffer Vikki Campion.

Mr Joyce and Ms Campion have reportedly moved into a townhouse gifted by the deputy PM's multi-millionaire friend.

But Nationals senator Nigel Scullion angrily defended his leader on Monday.

Appearing on The Project on Sunday night, political commentator Barrie Cassidy said Mr Joyce's relationship with former staffer Vikki Campion had turned into a "toxic issue".

Ahead of the Nationals party meeting, the deputy prime minister's New South Wales Nationals colleague John Williams said he did not know if Joyce would lead the party to the next election.

The justification? Get this - "Ms Campion was not his partner at the time of the staff appointments".

'Government has no business interfering in people's personal lives, we wouldn't want to, ' she said.

When Mr Cassidy was asked if there were any more "revelations" involving the Deputy Prime Minister yet to surface, the conversation turned awkward.

Questions are now being asked about Ms Campion's employment during her time with the federal Nationals, after the media advisor a year ago moved from Mr Joyce's office to the office of minister Matt Canavan and later to the office of Nationals whip Damian Drum.

Parliamentary rules state any increase in staffing allocations must be approved by the prime minister's office.

More news: North Koreans wrap up whirlwind of Olympic diplomacy
More news: Kashmir : CRPF constable killed in gunfight with militants, shootout underway
More news: Watch the amazing North Korean cheerleaders at work

"A close relative or partner of a minister is not to be appointed to any position in an agency in the minister's own portfolio if the appointment is subject to the agreement of the minister or cabinet", the section relating to "employment of family members" continues.

'It is a tough and distressing episode and I am very conscious - Lucy and I are very conscious - of the hurt occasioned to Natalie and their daughters in particular, ' Mr Turnbull said.

But later he told ABC TV: "Let's see how all of the travel things come out and so on".

"I just think the sun is setting on his career, and I can't see how he can survive".

Williams told the ABC he wasn't sure if Joyce had "done anything wrong by the law of the taxpayers".

Mr Joyce is expecting a child with Ms Campion after it was revealed he with his wife of 24-years, Natalie, with whom he shares four children.

Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek has called on the coalition to be transparent about Ms Campion's job trajectory after the relationship with Mr Joyce became known within government circles a year ago.

"The Prime Minister's Office has an administrative role in informing the Department of Finance of changes", Mr Joyce said.

"The distribution of those staff members between Nationals offices is a matter for the National Party", Mr Turnbull said.

"This is a tragic set of personal and family circumstances", Mr Rudd told the National Press Club.

Recommended News

  • USA  professor fired after telling student 'Australia isn't a country'

    USA professor fired after telling student 'Australia isn't a country'

    Buzzfeed News reported Ashley then wrote back to her professor explaining that Australia is actually a country in its own right. As compensation, SNHU's president Paul LeBlanc offered Arnold a stuffed koala bear and a round trip ticket to Australia .

    United Nations chief urges dialogue in talks with North Korean official

    The exchange with Kim however was the highest-level meeting between the United Nations chief and North Korea. Pence was seated between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
    MI  basketball's begin too sizzling for Wisconsin in 83-72 street win

    MI basketball's begin too sizzling for Wisconsin in 83-72 street win

    The Wolverines secured a road victory in the series for just the second time since 2000, with a 77-70 victory over the then-No. Speaking of Wagner, the MI forward had another strong game, recording a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds .
  • Instagram Enables Screenshot Alert to Align With Snapchat

    Instagram Enables Screenshot Alert to Align With Snapchat

    Prior to this test the only screenshot notifications on Instagram were when someone took a screenshot of a private direct message. Instagram has pushed-out a number of new feature to make it easier to follow other users' activities on the platform.
    Amid Olympic Détente, Pence Snubs North Koreans In Visit To Pyeongchang

    Amid Olympic Détente, Pence Snubs North Koreans In Visit To Pyeongchang

    The North's presence has dominated the headlines in the early days of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. But there was no mention of the North Korean nuclear issue or joint U.S.
    United Kingdom  government affected by crypto mining malware

    United Kingdom government affected by crypto mining malware

    The Queensland Government legislation website appears to be among the Australian sites affected. Helme documented the attack on his website, while Texthelp said an investigation was under way.
  • ANC impatient over Zuma's future - leader

    ANC impatient over Zuma's future - leader

    In 2008, shortly after taking the party's helm, Zuma engineered the ousting of Thabo Mbeki from the presidency. Opposition parties met on Friday 2 February 2018 to discuss their bid to have President Jacob Zuma removed.
    Snowboarding: Kim dominant in halfpipe qualifying, Japanese disappoint

    Snowboarding: Kim dominant in halfpipe qualifying, Japanese disappoint

    The Korean-American world number one stated her gold-medal winning potential with a solid 91.50 in her first run before posting the best score of the day in her second run.
    After S. Korea visit, Pence insists 'no daylight' on North

    After S. Korea visit, Pence insists 'no daylight' on North

    Sung said organizers sold 99 percent of 35,000 tickets to the opening ceremony, though viewers noticed many empty seats. There's worry, too, that the proposed summit in Pyongyang may come with preconditions - a North Korean specialty.
  • One Killed, Several Injured in Beijing Mall Knife Attack

    One Killed, Several Injured in Beijing Mall Knife Attack

    China's state-run Xinhua news agency reports that a man attacked shoppers with what appeared to be a knife at the mall on Sunday. The man said he attacked people " to express his discontent ", police said, adding that the man's surname is Zhu.
    Turkish troops killed in deadliest day of Kurdish offensive

    Turkish troops killed in deadliest day of Kurdish offensive

    But the agency later tweeted that the helicopter was downed in Syria itself, citing the Turkish prime minister, Binali Yildirim. At least 17 Turkish military personnel have been killed in the three-week offensive to clear Afrin of the Kurdish YPG militia.
    Turkish Military Copter Crashes in Syria, 2 Killed

    Turkish Military Copter Crashes in Syria, 2 Killed

    But officials did say nine soldiers were killed and 11 wounded during brutal clashes with mainly Kurdish forces near Afrin . Ford was the last USA ambassador to Syria and now teaches at Yale University and is a fellow at the Middle East Institute.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.