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Neil Mitchell: Today Barnaby Joyce is playing silly, messy games

Neil Mitchell says Barnaby Joyce’s most recent attempt to dodge a code breach is nitpicking, and opening himself to further — and more private — questions.

Below is part of a statement Mr Joyce made this morning in response to questions as whether his relationship with former staffer Vikki Campion breached the code of conduct.

“I am very aware of the ministerial code of conduct.
“It is without a shadow of a doubt that Vikki Campion is my partner now.
“But when she worked in my office she was not my partner.
“When she worked in Matt Canavan’s office, she was not my partner.
“I think this is vitally important about how we differentiate between the private and the public.”

– Barnaby Joyce, Tuesday morning

Hear the statement and Neil Mitchell’s reaction

Mitchell said it it was “nitpicking”, “messy” and “a stupid way to carry on”.

“When do you became a partner? Only after you get pregnant?” he asked.

“Do we have to go to Barnanby Joyce and say ‘Spell it out: When did you become sexually involved with this woman?’?”

“That’s not our business, until he gets involved in silly games like this.

“This is just playing with the words that are intended, in the code of conduct, to prevent minster’s looking after family members and mates.

“I think he’s finished.”

Victorian Reason Party MP Fiona Patten said it was “stupid conversation”.

Click PLAY for her full interview