EXCLUSIVE: Embattled Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, has been conducting a clandestine sexual affair with a female staffer for up to 10 months this year while at the same time grandiosely lecturing the Australian public about how gay people wanting to get married threatens the institution of marriage.
Mr Joyce – who is the leader of the Nationals party and has been Deputy PM since February 2016 – has been loudly vocal throughout his political career about supporting ‘traditional family values’ and hasn’t been shy about foisting his conservative and Catholic beliefs upon the public when it comes to social issues.
The New England MP is also one of the power-brokers within the Federal Government that resulted in a deal being struck by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to hold a bizarre and rushed, unbinding and unprecedented plebiscite on the issue of same-sex marriage this year. Mr Joyce – a New Zealander by descent – is also at the centre of a citizenship scandal with the High Court currently deciding upon whether the Deputy PM and a slew of other politicians were ineligible to stand for federal parliament due to holding dual citizenship.
Mr Joyce has now though allegedly been kicked out of his own marital home in Tamworth by his wife of 24 years, Natalie, after she learnt of her husband’s philandering ways. The couple have four daughters aged between 15 and 20. The family revealed only in March of this year in a puff piece in the Weekend Australian how little they saw of Mr Joyce due to his political commitments.
Some sources now claim that article about Mr Joyce’s family life seven months ago may have been produced in reaction to initial rumours of a sexual affair being conducted with one of his employees. Mr Joyce has reportedly engaged in the relationship with his staffer for between eight to 10 months.
The affair has been described as an “open secret” by some political commentators, yet journalists in Canberra’s press pack have been too afraid to cover the story, or, perhaps not allowed to by their superiors.
Over the weekend, two of News Corp’s tabloid publications in Sydney and Melbourne hinted at the story, but only when the Daily Telegraph’s feature article is read side-by-side with the Herald Sun’s small Page 13 gossip piece does the truth emerge.
The Daily Telegraph claims in its October 21 story that the Deputy PM “is in the grip of a deeply personal crisis that has now spilled into his public life” and that he “has for months struggled with issues that have affected his marriage of 24 years”. The newspaper though fails to reveal what this “deeply personal crisis” afflicting Mr Joyce and affecting his marriage may be.
However, a small tidbit published by its Melbourne stablemate on the same day provides more details under the heading of: “Talk of high-profile politician affair with staffer sweeps around Parliament House”. Par for the course in politics, it was apparently Mr Joyce’s fellow LNP colleagues who outed his affair to others, and not rival political parties.
“Colleagues have told the Herald Sun they are worried the public figure has been punted out of the family home, which doesn’t exactly coincide with their, er, political beliefs,” the gossip item reads.
“The late-night office grappling is believed to have been going on for at least eight months and is an open secret in political circles. One minister was heard exclaiming they couldn’t believe it hadn’t leaked out yet.
“There’s growing concern the long-running affair could be an embarrassment at an election.”
The Daily Telegraph article also adds that “one of Mr Joyce’s female advisers left his office to work for another minister who is close to Mr Joyce, before moving to another MP”.
The public outing of Mr Joyce’s infidelities come at a time when he is one of the public faces pushing for a ‘No’ vote in the same-sex marriage survey.
Only a month ago, Mr Joyce told ABC Radio that same-sex marriage campaigners should “just get out of my face”.
While in 2011, when speaking at a conference organised by the anti-gay National Marriage Coalition, Mr Joyce brought his own family into the reasons for why he doesn’t support gay people getting married; saying his four daughters would be affected if marriage equality became a reality in Australia.
“We know that the best protection for those girls is that they get themselves into a secure relationship with a loving husband and I want that to happen for them,” Mr Joyce told the conference at the time.
“I don’t want any legislator to take that right away from me.”
And just two years ago, Mr Joyce publicly claimed that allowing for marriage equality in Australia could damage the nation’s relationship with Asia as gay people getting married could be seen as “decadent”.
True Crime News Weekly sent a series of questions to the Deputy PM’s office but Mr Joyce has chosen not to respond.
We are now left wondering what term Mr Joyce would give to his own clandestine affairs. Hypocrisy, perhaps?