Barnaby Joyce 'resisted' removing girlfriend Vikki Campion from office

Monday, 12 Feb, 2018

Meanwhile, opposition leader Bill Shorten said it would be "wise" for Mr Turnbull to reassure the public that "nothing untoward" occurred during Ms Campion's job movements.

'I would not expect to see Barnaby leading the Nationals into the next election. "The answer is none". It's for the prime minister to stand up as soon as possible and explain that to the Australian people'.

Mr Joyce's wife has said she feels betrayed by his actions.

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

"In a highly conservative environment those things all spell disaster and I can't see how he can survive this".

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

(AAP) Ms Campion, 33, is reported to have undertaken the role of media adviser after Mr Canavan was forced out of office.

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

When Senator Canavan stepped down from the front bench in July following question over his citizenship, she when to work for Mr Drum. Still, there is reportedly little desire to oust Joyce from the party's top job if it isn't absolutely necessary. Ms Plibersek asked on ABC TV. Joyce refused to provide further details when pressed by the ABC about the matter over the weekend.

Vikki Campion and Barnaby Joyce are having a baby
FACEBOOK Vikki Campion and Barnaby Joyce are having a baby

She said it would be fine to transfer someone internally if they had the right skills but normally there would also be a process where other candidates could apply for a position.

That has raised questions about whether ministerial standards were breached.

On Monday a spokesman for Turnbull said Joyce had not breached the code because Campion was not the deputy prime minister's partner at the time of the staff appointments.

While there were calls for Mr Turnbull to urge Mr Joyce to step down, the decision rests with the National Party.

He had not discussed Ms Campion's employment with Mr Turnbull or his staff, although the prime minister's office has an administrative role in informing the Department of Finance of changes, he said.

'The situation is devastating, for my girls who are affected by the family breakdown and for me as a wife of 24 years who placed my own career on hold to support Barnaby through his political life, ' she said in a statement.

'I think his career is over, maybe not in the short term, but certainly in the medium term, ' she told the program.

Mr Turnbull has said he was not aware of any inappropriate spending of public funds relating to the affair.