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>> Thank you Mr. Speaker.>> Under fire for top level scandal in Australia, now Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce says he won't quite. He is a married Catholic who campaigned on family values, and is now expecting a baby with his former press secretary. On Friday, Joyce also blasted leader Malcolm Turnbull, who had banned sex between ministers and staff the day before.
>> Comments by the Prime Minister yesterday at his press conference, I believe they were in many instances inept. And most definitely in many instances unnecessary.>> This public back and forth has opened up a major rift in Australia's fragile ruling coalition. Turnbull holds a thin majority of just one seat, but he's now under pressure to fire his deputy, which would put his government at risk.
On Thursday, the Senate passed a motion for Joyce to resign over the affair, saying he's breached standards over behavior expected of a Minister. Lawmakers had been reluctant to criticize Joyce. But he's come under pressure after details emerged that his former staffer was given two highly paid jobs after leaving his office.
Turnbull's new minister rules would be similar to a US Congress ban on lawmakers-staff relationships adopted last week in Washington. However, critics have already said, Australia's rules don't go far enough. Unlike the US ban, Turnbull's proposal only applies to current cabinet members and their direct subordinates.