Former Australian deputy PM criticised for paid interview on love affair

The payment provoked critical comment on social media and raised the hackles of prime minister Turnbull, who this year lambasted his former deputy over “shocking error of judgement over the affair with his media adviser.
Australian deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce was criticised for agreeing to a paid tell-all television interview about an extramarital affair.(Reuters file photo)
Australian deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce was criticised for agreeing to a paid tell-all television interview about an extramarital affair.(Reuters file photo)
Updated on May 29, 2018 02:16 PM IST
Copy Link
Reuters, Sydney | By

Australia’s scandal-hit former deputy prime minister was widely criticised on Tuesday for agreeing to a paid tell-all television interview about an extramarital affair, threatening further disharmony in prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s government.

The move is unusual for an elected official - Barnaby Joyce is now a backbencher in the Liberal-National coalition government - and prompted calls from his own party for a ban on payments for media appearances by serving politicians.

The payment, which media said was A$150,000 ($112,950), provoked critical comment on social media and again raised the hackles of Turnbull, who this year lambasted Joyce’s “shocking error of judgement over the affair with his media adviser.

“It has been very widely criticised,” Turnbull told Tasmanian radio station LAFM, speaking of the interview payment. “It is certainly not a course of action I would have encouraged him to take, I will put it that way.”

Joyce, perhaps best known for once threatening to kill US movie star Johnny Depp’s dogs over a quarantine violation, had requested the media respect his privacy when his affair with staff member Vicki Campion was made public.

He resigned as leader of the Nationals, the junior coalition partner, in February after weeks of pressure. Joyce and Campion now live together and recently had a child, a son whom Joyce said would be the beneficiary of the interview payment.

Joyce added that Campion, as a private citizen, had a right to make money from an already intrusive situation.

“In the last fortnight we’ve had drones over our house, we’ve had paparazzi waiting for us,” Joyce told reporters in Canberra. “We tried just burning this out and that didn’t work.”

As Joyce continues to enjoy influence within the conservative wing of the coalition government, political analysts said Turnbull can ill afford any split, with a federal election less than a year away.

“The government cannot be seen to fighting publicly,” said Haydon Manning of Flinders University in South Australia. “Disunity is death, as they say in Australian politics.”

Backbench lawmakers are permitted to accept money for media engagements, but Australian lawmakers have traditionally shunned financial offers.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Earlier on Sunday, the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) had mocked Putin over his shirtless, bare-chested horse-riding picture.

    'If Putin were a woman...': UK PM Boris Johnson on Ukraine war

    Russian President Vladimir Putin would not have started the war in Ukraine if he was a woman, said UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday days after G7 members mocked the bare-chested pictures of the Russian leader. During his interview, the British PM also emphasized that everyone wants the Russia-Ukraine war to end. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked other leaders sitting around a table. "We all have to show that we're tougher than Putin."

  • FILE PHOTO: South Korea approves first homemade Covid-19 vaccine

    South Korea approves first homemade Covid-19 vaccine

    Health officials in South Korea on Wednesday approved the country's first domestically developed COVID-19 vaccine for people 18 years or older, adding another public health tool in the fight against a prolonged pandemic.

  • Sri Lanka fuel protests (Credit: @SriLankaTweet)

    Sri Lankans struggle for petrol due to fuel shortage, demonstrations to continue

    Sri Lankan doctors and other medical staff as well as teachers will take to the streets on Wednesday to demand that the government solve a severe fuel shortage at the heart of the South Asian country's worst economic crisis in decades. The government, left with only enough fuel to last about a week, on Tuesday restricted supplies to essential services, like trains, buses and the health sector, for two weeks.

  • Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud.

    TTP says no breakthrough in talks with Pak General

    The chief of the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has said there won't be a dissolution of or surrender by the group even if the peace talks with the Pakistan government succeeds. In a video released by TTP, its chief, Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud, who has been leading the peace talks for the group, revealed that former Director-General of ISI and Core Commander Peshawar (Gen) Faiz Hameed has been representing the Pakistan government.

  • ‘Russian Salad’ on cafe menu at NATO summit leaves officials baffled

    ‘Russian Salad’ on cafe menu at NATO summit leaves officials baffled

    As international officials and journalists waited for the world leaders at the NATO summit venue on Tuesday, what baffled them was to find 'Russian Salad' on the in-house restaurant menu -- especially as at the summit, Russia was expected to be labelled as a 'security threat' due to its invasion of Ukraine. The dish was also sold out within hours.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, June 29, 2022