'Put up or shut up': Nationals at war over Barnaby Joyce's future

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce

Barnaby Joyce has been granted a temporary leadership reprieve after colleagues agreed to "let the dust settle" following a dramatic intervention by senior party figures led by Nationals president Larry Anthony.

As said previously, I hold little truck with probing pollies private lives but it's out and now a major political issue for the Inbred Tomato so I've little choice.

Today saw the Tele publish a front-page story about uncertainty in the Nationals that was mostly a flimsy excuse to post a picture of what appears to be Joyce eyeing up now-partner Vikki Campion in a skirt.

Mr Joyce, 50, broke his silence on the scandal during an interview on national television on Thursday night.

While no current National lawmaker has openly called for his resignation or removal, Sky News reported that senior lawmakers in Joyce's party, the junior coalition partner in Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's government, had approached their leader and urged him to "consider his future". A majority of New England voters - 55.1 per cent - have told a ReachTEL poll they agree or strongly agree the media was justified in publishing details about Mr Joyce's relationship with former staffer Vikki Campion, who is now pregnant.

"There is no leadership to be resolved", Mr Littleproud told the ABC.

"I am not interested in talking about that, people get sick and exhausted of hearing about these internal games".

Michelle Landry, the member for Capricornia, also backed Joyce.

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Asked what she had to say to the women in the party, she said: "Look, there is an unease I think for all of us, looking at this as a woman".

Joyce was being urged to take leave next week "at a minimum", the Fin said.

As far as she was concerned, "everything was above board with his office", referring to the questions raised about his travel arrangements.

In a statement yesterday, Mr Joyce confirmed the pair were now in a relationship "without a shadow of doubt", however he vehemently denied they were a couple while Ms Campion worked for Mr Cavanan, making it unnecessary for Mr Joyce to notify Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, as per ministerial codes.

"We've got plenty of people in the Nationals party room, a lot of capable guys there, and if it comes to that we would find a good leader, I feel sure about that", Mr O'Dowd said.

The deputy Liberal leader and foreign minister, Julie Bishop, signalled on Wednesday morning she would be available to act in that role should "circumstances change".

He has denied allegations that he had breached guidelines surrounding giving jobs to ministers' partners when Campion was given a promotion past year to leave his office for another government job.

"It is stressful, marriage break-ups are very stressful things to go through and I think he is here to stay".

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