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Barnaby Joyce takes medical leave

UPDATE: Barnaby Joyce says he is taking a couple of weeks sick leave following a routine medical check-up.

In a tweet today, he clarified reports he was taking up to four weeks personal leave, and would return on June 15.

Earlier, Chief National Party whip Michelle Landry said he would be on leave until the end of June.

It follows the fall-out from a tell-all television interview in which the former deputy prime minister was heavily criticised for accepting payment.

Mr Joyce told reporters yesterday his partner, Vikki Campion, decided to accept the money because the media was already profiting from invading their privacy.

Neil Mitchell said it was in his best interest to stand aside.

“It’s not a criticism of him, he’d be better off out of it all,” he said.

“Is there a disconnect? The media and the pollies are very, very critical of him for doing this paid interview, and I certainly think it’s wrong.

“But is the public supporting him? He was always very popular.

“Are the real people still supporting Barnaby?”

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Photo: AAP Image/Lukas Coch