Barn­aby Joyce un­der pres­sure to re­sign

Gulf News - - Australia / Africa -

Aus­tralia’s deputy prime min­is­ter was un­der mount­ing pres­sure yes­ter­day to re­sign as his party’s leader over rev­e­la­tions of a re­la­tion­ship with a for­mer staffer.

News­pa­pers re­vealed last week that Barn­aby Joyce and his for­mer me­dia ad­viser are ex­pect­ing a baby to­gether, and the scan­dal has an­gered many within Joyce’s con­ser­va­tive, ru­ral­based Na­tion­als party. As leader of the ju­nior party in the gov­ern­ing coali­tion, Joyce is both the deputy prime min­is­ter and act­ing prime min­is­ter when the prime min­is­ter is over­seas.

Na­tion­als law­maker Ken O’Dowd said he ex­pected a party del­e­ga­tion would con­front Joyce soon to con­sider his po­si­tion.

“The party will prob­a­bly talk to him and dis­cuss the fu­ture of Barn­aby and the fu­ture of the ... party,” O’Dowd told re­porters. “He’ll prob­a­bly need the ad­vice and some­one needs to tell him where the party stands at this stage.”

If Joyce re­signs, “we would find a good leader, I feel sure about that,” O’Dowd added, with­out nam­ing a po­ten­tial re­place­ment.

Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter David Lit­tleproud, a se­nior Na­tion­als law­maker, said most of the party still sup­ported Joyce’s lead­er­ship.

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