Barnaby Joyce to resign as Australian Deputy Prime Minster following extramarital affair scandal

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has announced he will resign after several weeks of sustained media coverage of his extramarital affair.

Known for campaigning on strong family values, Mr Joyce announced he was separating from his wife of 24 years in December 2017.

In early 2018, it was revealed the separation was due to an affair with staffer Vikki Campion, who is now pregnant with his child.

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

Until now, he has ignored all those calls, saying the controversy would die down eventually.

But it hasn't, so he's on the way out and will resign as leader of the National Party and Deputy Prime Minister on Monday.

As he announced his plan to step down, Mr Joyce lashed out at media coverage of his personal life and said the only way to make it stop was to leave.

"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," he told reporters. 

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was vocally unimpressed with Mr Joyce's conduct, calling it a "shocking error", and implementing a ban on sexual relations between ministers and staff.

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

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

Before the current scandal, Mr Joyce faced problems of a different sort, ruled ineligible for parliament in late 2017, due to a previously unknown New Zealand citizenship.

Mr Turnbull had to postpone a trip overseas to deal with the fall out, but Mr Joyce was re-elected to his seat in a by-election on December 3.


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