Friday, 23 February 2018

Australian deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce quits over claims of affair with ex-aide

Australian deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce says he is quitting amid claims of sexual harassment and an affair with a former aide.
Mr Joyce, whose National Party rules alongside the Liberals of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, announced he would officially step down on Monday.
He told reporters: "I will say on Monday morning at the party room (meeting), I will step down as the leader of the National Party and deputy leader of Australia."

His decision to call a news conference came after a new allegation of sexual harassment was made by an unidentified individual.

National Party federal director Ben Hindmarsh confirmed the party had received the sexual harassment allegation but declined to give any details.

A spokesman said Mr Joyce had been made aware of the claim and believed it was "spurious and defamatory".

Mr Joyce had asked for the allegation to be referred to police, the spokesman said.

The deputy prime minister, a Catholic who campaigned on "family values", initially refused to resign when it was made public he was expecting a child with his former press secretary.

SKY       News.

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