Update @ 1:15 pm
Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the National Party, Barnaby Joyce, has confirmed he will resign as the leader of the National Party on Monday.
Mr Joyce has been under pressure to resign since it was revealed he had an affair with a former staffer.
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He added the latest allegations of sexual harassment was “the straw that broke the camel’s back”.
Mr Joyce said he hasn’t spoken directly to the Prime Minister but told acting Prime Minister Mathias Corman he was planning to step down.
He will retire to the backbench.
The Deputy PM says the public intrusion into his life and the life of others needs to stop.
“It’s s incredibly important that there be a circuit-breaker, not just for the parliament, but more importantly, a circuit-breaker for Vikki, for my unborn child, my daughters and for Nat,” he said.
“This has got to stop, it’s not fair on them. It’s just completely and utterly unwarranted.”
Earlier @ 11:30 am
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is reportedly preparing to quit, following two weeks of pressure after his affair with a former staffer.
The National Party Leader has scheduled a press conference for this afternoon, with reports suggesting Mr Joyce will not contest the leadership at a National Party meeting on Monday.
The move comes amid growing calls for his resignation from with the National Party.
National MPs are becoming increasingly concerned about the fallout from Mr Joyce’s affair with his former media advisor, Vikki Campion.
Most recently, National MP Andrew Gee said he can’t back Mr Joyce to stay as leader of the party.
“Until I have clarification regarding some of the issues about Barnaby, I won’t be able to back him but I’m also not in a position to back any challenger,” Mr Gee said in a statement on Friday.
Earlier today there were reports that a formal sexual harassment complaint had been made against Mr Joyce.
The Deputy PM has denied this, telling Channel Nine the comments were “spurious and defamatory”.
“They should have been referred to police if they had substance,” Mr Joyce said.
.@lcalcutt: ‘You’re still not going anywhere?”
@Barnaby_Joyce: “Let’s do the presser.”
The National Party leader says he’ll address the media later today amid a public call for his resignation from a party room colleague and a sexual harassment complaint. #AusPol #9News pic.twitter.com/ab3RspeU5Y
— Nine News Australia (@9NewsAUS) February 22, 2018