Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce Resigns From Cabinet, Remains in Parliament

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce Resigns From Cabinet, Remains in Parliament

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce Resigns From Cabinet, Remains in Parliament

The National Party leader says he'll address the media later today amid a public call for his resignation from a party room colleague and a sexual harassment complaint.

The spokesman said Mr Joyce, 50, made no accommodation expense claim until January 3 and no travel claim was made for Ms Campion.

CNN contacted the National Party but didn't receive an immediate response.

Both of the region's MPs also backed controversial legislation introduced by the Prime Minister which banned sexual relations with staff.

In a move interpreted by some as punishing his deputy for a politically damaging scandal, Mr Turnbull did not appoint Mr Joyce to the role of acting prime minister while the prime minister visits Washington this week. Joyce said he wanted the allegation to be referred to the police and to be given an opportunity to defend himself.

Before Mr Joyce's announcement, Dr Gillespie said he was a safe pair of hands with ministerial experience and a record of delivering in his electorate.

"This has got to stop, it's not fair on them, it's just completely and utterly unwarranted".

"I just thought that has to be the straw that breaks the camel's back", he said.

Joyce, who has been on personal leave this week with his new partner and former staffer Vikki Campion, will officially quit as Nationals leader on Monday and go to the back bench.

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A statement from Mr Turnbull's office said the Prime Minister thanks Mr Joyce for his service, and that the Coalition remains "Australia's most successful political partnership".

Mr Joyce faced calls to resign, including a successful vote from the Australian senate asking him to step down.

Bill Shorten wants Malcolm Turnbull to publicly release the next coalition agreement between the Liberals and the Nationals and ensure it includes the power to sack the deputy prime minister.

Last year, Mr Joyce was ensnared in Canberra's dual nationality saga, and was forced out of parliament after it was revealed he had breached the constitution by not renouncing his New Zealand citizenship - which he had inherited through his father.

Rumours of an affair started to spread after Mr Joyce and Vikki Campion, his former media adviser, were photographed together at a bar in Sydney in February 2017.

The resignation may relieve some pressure on Turnbull, whose ruling Liberal-National coalition has slumped further behind in opinion polls amid the scandal.

The three men in line to replace Barnaby Joyce as Nationals leader include a gastroenterologist, a journalist and a rising star from the agriculture industry.

Despite three weeks of negative publicity and open tension with Turnbull, Joyce seemed determined to keep his position.

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