Australia PM Confronts Scandal Over Deputy's Extramarital Affair

Australia's deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce, a practising Catholic, is expecting a child with his former press secretary, his estranged wife confirmed this week. (Reuters Photo/Issei Kato)

By : Colin Packham | on 3:00 AM February 10, 2018
Category : International, Asia-Pacific

Sydney. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Friday (09/02) he opposes proposed legislation to ban relationships between lawmakers and their staff amid a scandal over his deputy's extramarital affair.

Barnaby Joyce, a practising Catholic, is expecting a child with his former press secretary, his estranged wife confirmed this week.

Eager to rebuild public trust, independent MP Cathy McGowan said she may introduce legislation modeled on that passed by the US Congress that prohibits relationships between lawmakers and staff.

"Relations between consenting adults are not something you would be justified in seeking to regulate," Turnbull told reporters in Canberra.

Turnbull's center-right government has a razor-thin one seat majority in parliament and can ill-afford to alienate its traditional conservative voters just over a year out from the next election.

Reuters

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