Australian Deputy Prime Minister quits Cabinet over harassment claim
CANBERRA : Australia’s beleaguered deputy prime minister resigned from the Cabinet on Friday over allegations that he sexually harassed a woman, but said he would not resign from Parliament.
By staying in Parliament Barnaby Joyce ensures that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s single-seat majority in the House of Representatives is maintained.
The allegation of sexual harassment adds to scrutiny Joyce has faced since news broke earlier this month that he and his former media secretary Vikki Campion are expecting a baby in April.
Questions have been raised about her employment in two government jobs after working in Joyce’s office last year and the rent-free apartment owned by a wealthy political donor where Joyce and Campion now live.
Joyce said his Nationals party, the junior partner in the ruling coalition, will pick a new leader on Monday.