The Prime Minister‘s office has continued its farcical defence of Barnaby Joyce today, with Malcolm Turnbull insisting that the deputy PM was not breaching the ministerial code of conduct when he got Vikki Campion, the woman with whom he was having an affair, a cushy job with another minister.
The justification? Get this – “Ms Campion was not his partner at the time of the staff appointments.“
As Labor MP Wayne Swan said on Sky News today, tell that to anyone who’s tried to get Centrelink off their back about their personal relationships.
.@SwannyQLD: The Coalition is claiming that the woman that @Barnaby_Joyce has a relationship with is not his partner. Tell that to any welfare recipient who is having this argument about cohabitation with Centrelink.— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) February 12, 2018
MORE: https://t.co/F3jWAhh9uZ#Speers pic.twitter.com/cIh7bURP9t
Campion is currently pregnant, and had been involved with Joyce since last year. In April, she stopped working for his office, and was given a gig with Resources Minister Matt Canavan, to the tune of about $190,000. Then, when Canavan left parliament in the great citizenship sweep of 2017, Campion was employed by Nationals whip Damian Drum.
All of these people should have been unable to employ Campion, according to the ministerial code of conduct, which says that ministers’ “close relatives and partners are not to be appointed to positions in their ministerial or electorate offices and must not be employed in the offices of other members of the executive government without the Prime Minister’s express approval.“
Obviously, Turnbull did not give his express approval, considering he’s said that he had no knowledge of the affair, so… what the fuck, you guys.
According to Centrelink, Barnaby Joyce and Vikki Campion would be considered a couple.— Alice Workman (@workmanalice) February 12, 2018
She is unemployed, he is employed so he could be providing financial assistance for her. They live together & they are expecting a child together. pic.twitter.com/Z1SZqzRlUG
Despite the fact that Campion is due to give birth to Barnaby Joyce’s child in two months, and the fact that they’ve now moved in together, she’s still not listed as his partner in any capacity. If I were her, I’d be starting to feel a bit miffed about all this by now.
It remains to be seen how the government plans to dig Joyce out of the ever-deepening pit of disgrace he insists on wallowing in. Weakly flailing at the fine print of the code of conduct clearly isn’t going to cut it.
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