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  • Writer's pictureHannah Phillips

Barnaby Joyce Goes On…and On

During this week Mr Joyce is meant to have been on leave but instead he has scheduled a whole lot of background interviews with the media during which he has cleverly played the victim card.

Joyce took journalists around his “bachelor’s pad” in order to show that he wasn’t living in the lap of luxury while at the same time mentioning that he was going to have to quit the premises because of stake-outs by the paparazzi.

Vicki Campion produced her pay slips to prove that she hadn’t received a pay rise when she moved to Damian Drum’s and Matt Canavan’s offices.

Nor was the salary she was paid exorbitant.

It appears that the next phase of the sorry saga is now to lie low and hope that the whole thing blows over.

The press seems to have no further appetite for the story and is too busy in Washington covering the Prime Minister’s visit to the White House.

The saga culminated with a press conference today at which Mr Joyce announced that he was stepping down as leader of the National Party.

This followed allegations by a woman in Western Australia who claimed that Mr Joyce had sexually harassed her.

The President of the National Party, Larry Anthony, confirmed that this matter has been referred to the national executive for consideration.

Mr Joyce told the press conference the issue was never about him it was about the welfare of the voters in the bush.

That was why he was in parliament.

He said the voters need clear air so they have the best opportunity for protection.

He said that he had asked for the allegations of sexual harassment to be referred to the police but said that in the circumstances that on Monday he would step down as leader of the National Party and the Deputy Prime Minister.

He would remain in parliament as a backbencher.

He confirmed that he had not spoken to Malcolm Turnbull but that he had advised Matthias Cormann that he would stand down.

At this stage it is unclear who will succeed him as leader but this will be determined at the party meeting on Monday.

John McDonnell

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