Question Marks Over Job Given To Barnaby's New Partner
The appointment of Barnaby Joyce's partner to a job in a colleague's office last year was "all entirely appropriate", federal cabinet minister Christopher Pyne says.
Vikki Campion was reportedly assigned a digital and social media position in the office of Nationals MP Matt Canavan and was not replaced in the months after she left.
New claims in the Barnaby Joyce controversy this morning, with allegations the Deputy Prime Minister's close ally Matt Canavan created a job in his office for Mr Joyce's girlfriend. #9News— Nine News Australia (@9NewsAUS) February 8, 2018
READ MORE: https://t.co/JkSU0jZ9Oo pic.twitter.com/4Ar3ZMjBh7
"I'm not in the gun on this story and I think it's highly unlikely anything untoward occurred," Mr Pyne told Nine Network on Friday.
"I'm sure it was all entirely appropriate but again that's a matter that Matt Canavan needs to respond to, not me."
The Daily Telegraph on Friday cited a spokeswoman for Senator Canavan, who was resources minister at the time, as saying Ms Campion was "suitably qualified" for the role given her work history.
There is no suggestion otherwise. Mr Pyne said, "maybe that's the job that Matt Canavan wanted in his office at that time".
This week it was publicly revealed this week Mr Joyce, 50, and a now-pregnant Ms Campion, 33, his former staffer, are now in a private relationship.
Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese said staffing was a matter for the government and he was not aware of the circumstances or details.
In July Senator Canavan, who - according to his website - once worked as Mr Joyce's chief of staff, resigned his ministry after issues were raised about his eligibility to sit in parliament.
Once those were resolved, he returned to the frontbench in October, again as resources minister.
Its been a testing time for Mr Joyce who's had to defend his right to privacy following the breakdown of his 24-year marriage, after the Telegraph printed a photograph of a pregnant Ms Campion at a Canberra petrol station, publicly outing the relationship.