UPDATE @ May 30, 6.30 AM | Former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has taken extended personal leave from parliament, effective immediately.
The Nationals backbencher is understood to have taken almost 11 weeks off from work.
It comes after he defended the decision to sell the story of his new family in a tell-all interview.
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The interview will air next Sunday night on Channel Seven, with Mr Joyce and his new partner Vikki Campion reportedly pocketing a six-figure payment for the exclusive chat.
Joyce is due to return to Parliament on Monday, August 13.
— ABC Politics (@politicsabc) May 29, 2018
Additional reporting by Shanee Dobeson.
EARLIER @ May 29, 5.30 PM | Former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is defending his decision to sell the story of his new family in a tell-all interview.
Mr Joyce and his new partner, and former staffer, Vikki Campion will pocket $150,000 for the interview with Channel Seven.
He said they were forced into doing the interview.
“In the last fortnight we’ve had drones over our house, we’ve had paparazzi waiting for us outside Armidale airport, we’ve had people following us to Uralla,” Mr Joyce said.
“We tried just burning this out and that didn’t work.”
The Former Nationals Leader added it was his new partner’s decision as she was sick of getting “screwed over” by the media.
His decision to do the interview comes as Mr Joyce files an official complaint with the Australian Press Council, regarding the media’s “invasion of privacy”.
The Prime Minister said he would speak privately to Mr Joyce about his decision to do the interview.
This weekend, #SN7 will air an #exclusive interview with @Barnaby_Joyce & his partner, Vikki Campion. This is Ms Campion’s first interview since details of her relationship with Mr Joyce were made public. The interview with @alextcullen airs this Sunday at 8.30pm on @Channel7. pic.twitter.com/kIRlUyBzDJ
— Sunday Night (@sundaynighton7) May 29, 2018