Barnaby Joyce RESIGNS as Deputy PM following affair with staffer, Vikki Campion

"It is the view of the Parliamentary National Party of Western Australia that Mr Joyce's position as a Federal Leader is no longer tenable".

Well, it's finally happened - Barnaby Joyce has officially resigned as Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals party leader, following weeks of escalating scandals and unprecedented tension with the Prime Minister.

The Nationals leader was due to face his own party room on Monday, where colleagues were to vote on his continued leadership. "I never tried to be anything else".

The series of stories about Mr Joyce's private life, including claims he misused travel expenses to spend time with Ms Campion, led to a further erosion of support for the coalition in the opinion polls.

Today Mr Joyce confirmed he had asked for the matter to be referred to police.

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.

"I have asked that that be referred to the police", he said, while admitting it had been "the straw that broke the camel's back".

A spokesman for Joyce told The Daily Telegraph he had been made "indirectly aware" of the claim which he described as "spurious and defamatory".

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Joyce began his political career when he was elected as a senator for Queensland in 2004, and went to become a minister of several portfolios before becoming leader of the conservative National Party in 2016 and Deputy Prime Minister in 2017.

Rumours of an affair started to spread after Mr Joyce and Vikki Campion, his former media adviser, were photographed together at a bar in Sydney in February 2017.

He did not mention the prime minister and made it clear that he had not called Mr Turnbull before the announcement, the message was relayed through the acting prime minister, Mathias Corman.

He also says he won't "snipe" from the back bench. He and estranged wife Natalie Abberfield announced their separation in December.

The issue has dominated headlines in Australian media this month, taking the spotlight away from the prime minister's policy agenda, including his bid to legislate corporate and personal tax cuts.

In an interview with Australia's Fairfax Media newspaper on Wednesday, the couple called for scrutiny of their relationship to stop, appealing to the media and the public to "move on".

When his staff said there was only one question left, Mr Turnbull declined to say if he still supported the Nationals leader who is now facing historical allegations of sexual harassment and a potential leadership spill.

An avalanche of unfavourable yarns about the New England MP have made things very tough for him the past few days, so he chose to hang up his Deputy Prime Minister hat (but not his trusty Akubra, obviously). He said he will resign the leadership positions but remain in the Parliament as a local member.


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