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Neil Mitchell: Why Barnaby Joyce’s baby news and personal affairs matter

Neil Mitchell says there is a case that Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s private affairs and relationship with a former staff member is a matter of public interest.

After months of speculation, the Daily Telegraph revealed yesterday Mr Joyce was expecting a baby with his former employee and had separated with his wife of 24 years.

In a television interview last night, the Deputy PM maintained his privacy but admitted the breakdown of his marriage was the “greatest failure” in his life.

“Do you care that the Deputy Prime Minister has had a relationship with a staffer, left his wife, and got her pregnant?” Neil Mitchell questioned.

“Here are the reasons why it is relevant.

“Hypocrisy. He has campaigned against gay marriage, he has talked about the sanctity and importance of marriage at the very time he was involved in an affair.

“Second, a staffer nearly 20 years his junior, I don’t think the boss should ever be sleeping with his junior staff if in fact she was still on staff at the time.

“Third, politics, does it damage his standing with the voters?

“Barnaby Joyce has promoted an image of being a wholesome knockabout sort of bloke, desperately loyal to wife and family, and he wasn’t.

“Does that matter?

“In this country, usually a person privates life has been left at that. Does it matter? It’s your call.”

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