Barnaby Joyce confirms split from his wife
BARNABY Joyce has confirmed he has separated from his wife after rumours surrounding the split contributed to a dirty election campaign in New England.
It was an almost casual mention when the Deputy Prime Minister today confirmed the rumours.
"I acknowledge that I'm currently separated, so that's on the record," Mr Joyce told Parliament.
He was joining the same-sex marriage debate and touching on the special relationship of wedlock.
It seemed he felt he had to explain his own broken relationship in the process.
"I didn't come to this debate pretending to be a saint," he said.
The rumours had been around for months and were unofficially highlighted during the New England by-election he won.
Mr Joyce's wife Natalie was nowhere to be seen when he voted with his mother, when he claimed victory, or when he was sworn back into Parliament.
During the campaign, Mr Joyce was hounded by an individual, who he later dubbed a stalker, who raised his family situation at a pub.
It sparked a heated verbal clash, where Mr Joyce is understood to have knocked the man's hat off his head.
Mr Joyce also received a death threat during the campaign. There is no suggestion it was from the same individual. The letter contained a bullet and a message about a proposed government loan for the Adani group.
"The campaign was not noted for cleanliness," he told the Nine Network this morning.
"There was a lot of unsavoury stuff that went on during the campaign but I will take that by the chin and get on with it.
"Obviously it is the people of New England who knew all the stories and they said 'We are interested in the job you are going to do, not some of the other rubbish that was being tossed around'.
"So, that's a great endorsement of how the Australian people think as well.
"I reckon that is really humbling."