Australian Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce's 'shocking error' forces ban on MPs having sexual relations with staff

Embattled Australian Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce has forced a major rule change in Australian parliament due to the ongoing fallout from his extramarital affair.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called the affair, between Mr Joyce and member of his staff Vikki Campion a "shocking error".

Now no Australian MP, single or otherwise, will be allowed to have any kind of sexual relations with a member of staff.

"Barnaby made a shocking error of judgment in having an affair with a young woman working in his office," Mr Turnbull said.

"In doing so, he has set off a world of woe for those women and appalled all of us… 

"I have today added to the standards to make a very clear and unequivocal provision; ministers, regardless of whether they are married or single, must not engage in sexual relations with staff."

Mr Joyce will soon be taking personal leave to mop up the damage from the affair.

It is understood that Mr Turnbull was in favour of Mr Joyce taking the leave, although it was ultimately Mr Joyce's decision.

Many are calling for Mr Joyce to resign, with opposition MPs accusing Mr Turnbull of not doing his job and firing his deputy Prime Minister.

On Thursday the Upper House of Australian Government, known as the senate, voted in favour 35 to 29 of a motion calling on Mr Joyce to resign.

It does not have any practical effect, but does send a powerful message to the current Deputy Prime Minister.