Instead Of Resigning, Barnaby Joyce Is Going On “Holidays” Next Week

Weekend at Barnaby's.

barnaby joyce

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Somehow, Barnaby Joyce has managed to withstand the media and political blowtorch applied to him as a result of his much-publicised affair with former staffer Vikki Campion.

The issue has been raised in parliament every day this week, and has been a massive distraction for the government, which presumably has more important things to do like screw over welfare recipients and refugees.

Joyce’s explanations regarding Campion’s staffing jobs have been pretty weak, and he’s facing fresh scrutiny over his relationship with the businessman who is currently paying his rent for him in the Armidale house he now shares with Campion.

But despite all this he’s somehow clung onto power.

As leader of the Nationals, Joyce serves as Deputy Prime Minister and a senior cabinet minister. He’s Malcolm Turnbull’s number two and an influential member of the government. But Turnbull — even though he’s reportedly extremely peeved at the whole situation — has no power to actually do anything about it.

The only people who can discipline Joyce, or throw him out, are the Nationals themselves — and they’ve been unwilling to do anything, presumably frozen by the fact that people are actually paying attention to them for once.

The point is, Joyce isn’t going anywhere for the moment. And things were set to get even more embarrassing next week when Turnbull jets off to the US, leaving Joyce to perform the role of Acting Prime Minister.

The situation was about to get very, very awkward, but thankfully Joyce and Turnbull have come up with a cheeky little solution. Instead of doing his job, or clearing the decks for the government by resigning, Joyce is… going on a holiday.

Today Turnbull told Parliament that Joyce would be taking a week’s leave, kicking in from Monday. That conveniently overlaps with the time the PM is travelling to the US, meaning Joyce won’t need to act as PM, significantly reducing his exposure to the media and to the public. Finance minister Matthias Cormann will take on the role instead of Joyce, because deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop is also overseas.

So despite facing numerous scandals and calls for his resignation Joyce isn’t just staying put, he’s going on a paid holiday to hide from further scrutiny.

If the Deputy Prime Minister needs to hide every time the PM is busy, what’s the point of him being the Deputy Prime Minister?