Barnaby Joyce will step down as Leader of the National Party and move to the backbench.
“This has got to stop”, was the quote Mr Joyce used to describe his decision at a Media Conference in Armidale today.
Mr Joyce says he will announce at a party room meeting in Canberra on Monday morning that he’ll be stepping down as the leader of the National Party and Deputy Prime Minister of Australia.
A leadership ballot will then held.
Mr Joyce says his decision is aimed at acting as a “circuit-breaker” to stop the fallout of his relationship with his partner, Vikki Campion for his children, estranged wife, his partner and unborn child.
He says he hopes the move will also end the politics.
Over the last half a month, there has been a litany, litany of allegations – I don’t believe any of them have been sustained.”
“Might I say right here, any person in any political party always says, the leaking, the backgrounding, all that, it will destroy not only our government, it will destroy any government.”
He has also today described the formal sexual Harassment case that has surfaced against him as “spurious” and “defamatory”.
“I’ve asked for the right of the person who’s made the allegation and I’ve asked for my right of defence that that be referred to the police.”