Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister to Step Down After Sex Scandal

Photo

Barnaby Joyce, a populist from rural Australia and a critical member of Parliament’s governing coalition, had admitted to an affair with a former staffer, who is currently pregnant.Credit Lukas Coch/Australian Associated Press, via Reuters

MELBOURNE, Australia — Barnaby Joyce, Australia’s deputy prime minister, said on Friday that he would resign his post after a series of damaging revelations, including an extramarital affair, led to weeks of scandalous headlines and a change in the rules for how politicians must conduct themselves.

“I’ve acknowledged that in many areas, I’m rough around the edges,” Mr. Joyce said at a news conference in the city of Armidale. “I never tried to be anything else.”

Mr. Joyce, a populist from rural Australia and a crucial member of Parliament’s governing coalition, had previously admitted to an affair with a former staffer, who is currently pregnant. The Australian news media was reluctant to report on the relationship with the woman, Vikki Campion, until it was discovered that the couple were living rent-free in an apartment donated by a supporter.

Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister to Step Down After Sex Scandal
Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister to Step Down After Sex Scandal

Later, two women came forward to accuse Mr. Joyce of sexual harassment and misconduct.

Friday’s news conference came less than 24 hours after the second of those women came forward with allegations that Mr. Joyce had harassed her.

Mr. Joyce, through a spokesman, denied those allegations.

“This current cacophony of issues has to be put aside, and I think it’s my responsibility to do my bit to make sure that happens,” Mr. Joyce said at the news conference.

Continue reading the main story

Similar Posts