Barnaby Joyce, Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader, is reported to be expecting a child with Vikki Campion, one of his ex-staff members. Deputy Chief of The Daily Telegraph and a former journalist, the 33-year-old Ms Campion left Joyce’s office last year in April.
Ms Campion has since reportedly begun living with Joyce and has become pregnant, speculated to be due in April. 50-year-old Joyce revealed in December that had separated from his 24 year marriage with wife Natalie Joyce.
Joyce’s friends have reported that he appears to be in a serious relationship with Ms Campion. Despite this neither Joyce nor Ms Campion have spoken publicly about their relationship.
Prior to his separation with his long-time wife, Joyce had frequently spoken about his family life and his wife in public. The married couple appeared to be very close and described their relationship as ideal.
Joyce revealed in interviews that he was regretful the he could not spend more time with his family. His wife revealed that his family had taken a “backseat” to his political career, spending only a few days a month at home in his own bed.
Joyce had 4 daughters with his wife and publicly regretted not spending as much time as he should have with them. Natalie Joyce described the children as having grown up with their father steeped in politics, so they were used to not seeing him often.
After the High court dismissed Mr Joyce from parliament for his dual citizenship status, part of a saga in Australian politics that has affected many ministers, his family did not go with him on the campaign trail for the New England by-election.
Natalie Joyce was also not present when Mr Joyce voted with his mother as well as being absent when he returned to be sworn into Parliament again. This was in stark contrast to the 2016 election when Joyce’s family was routinely seen with him at public events.
His campaign for the 2017 by-election had been shrouded in rumours about the now exposed relationship with Ms Campion. On the campaign trail Joyce was involved in an altercation in a pub with someone he described as a stalker who raised questions about his family situation.
When reinstated into Parliament last year Joyce confirmed the rumours about his family trouble and his separation with his wife. He said the he did not come to parliament “pretending to be a saint”.