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Angry Barnaby Joyce lashes out at 'innuendo' in heated exchange with Fran Kelly Angry Barnaby Joyce lashes out at 'innuendo' in heated exchange with Fran Kelly
(about 1 month later)
Barnaby Joyce has accused his detractors of using “innuendo” to force him to rule out returning to the Nationals leadership.Barnaby Joyce has accused his detractors of using “innuendo” to force him to rule out returning to the Nationals leadership.
In a heated exchange on Radio National Joyce noted that he was “elected deputy prime minister” at the last election and angrily rejected the suggestion a cloud still hangs over him from the sexual harassment complaint which triggered his resignation in February after the revelation of an affair with his ex-staffer.In a heated exchange on Radio National Joyce noted that he was “elected deputy prime minister” at the last election and angrily rejected the suggestion a cloud still hangs over him from the sexual harassment complaint which triggered his resignation in February after the revelation of an affair with his ex-staffer.
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Joyce, now the special envoy for drought, is in Canberra for a drought summit at which the Morrison government will announce a $5bn Future Drought Fund to pay $100m a year for relief and mitigation projects.Joyce, now the special envoy for drought, is in Canberra for a drought summit at which the Morrison government will announce a $5bn Future Drought Fund to pay $100m a year for relief and mitigation projects.
But it was the topic of Joyce’s future which took the interview into heavy weather when Fran Kelly questioned why Joyce had said last week that he would accept the leadership if it were offered, suggesting he was “testing the waters” to replace Michael McCormack.But it was the topic of Joyce’s future which took the interview into heavy weather when Fran Kelly questioned why Joyce had said last week that he would accept the leadership if it were offered, suggesting he was “testing the waters” to replace Michael McCormack.
Joyce replied: “Why do you have to go out and basically lie to people?”Joyce replied: “Why do you have to go out and basically lie to people?”
He said he was “elected the deputy prime minister of Australia” so it was “ridiculous to say you wouldn’t accept the job if it [were] given to you”.He said he was “elected the deputy prime minister of Australia” so it was “ridiculous to say you wouldn’t accept the job if it [were] given to you”.
He said he had not counted numbers in the Nationals party room, and accused unnamed people of “trying to intimidate you into ruling a line under your own career”.He said he had not counted numbers in the Nationals party room, and accused unnamed people of “trying to intimidate you into ruling a line under your own career”.
“I’ve had to deal with people sullying your reputation, impugning you, putting innuendo out there – you don’t reward them by ruling a lines under your career.”“I’ve had to deal with people sullying your reputation, impugning you, putting innuendo out there – you don’t reward them by ruling a lines under your career.”
Joyce noted that one colleague had told Sky News they wanted him back in the leadership, in reference to Michelle Landry, but he had not called for a spill. Landry said the Nationals were happy with Michael McCormack as leader but Joyce was “keen down the track to take over the leadership”.Joyce noted that one colleague had told Sky News they wanted him back in the leadership, in reference to Michelle Landry, but he had not called for a spill. Landry said the Nationals were happy with Michael McCormack as leader but Joyce was “keen down the track to take over the leadership”.
Asked what he had learned from the Coalition’s loss in the Wentworth byelection and whether the message was to stop “self-indulgent infighting”, Joyce criticised Malcolm Turnbull by noting that “one of the biggest messages was you don’t resign from parliament if you’ve got a one-seat majority and you were the former prime minister”.Asked what he had learned from the Coalition’s loss in the Wentworth byelection and whether the message was to stop “self-indulgent infighting”, Joyce criticised Malcolm Turnbull by noting that “one of the biggest messages was you don’t resign from parliament if you’ve got a one-seat majority and you were the former prime minister”.
Asked if the public disliked leaders they didn’t elect, Joyce reiterated that he was elected deputy prime minister. He added, “You learn how to take it on the chin and accept it too” – either in reference to reconciling himself to losing the leadership or the Australian public reconciling themselves to the prospect of his return.Asked if the public disliked leaders they didn’t elect, Joyce reiterated that he was elected deputy prime minister. He added, “You learn how to take it on the chin and accept it too” – either in reference to reconciling himself to losing the leadership or the Australian public reconciling themselves to the prospect of his return.
When Kelly raised the subject of allegations of sexual harassment against Joyce by the rural advocate Catherine Marriott, he angrily replied: “It wasn’t proved.”When Kelly raised the subject of allegations of sexual harassment against Joyce by the rural advocate Catherine Marriott, he angrily replied: “It wasn’t proved.”
“Why do people keep throwing it out there?” he asked. When Kelly replied that the complaint had not been disproved either, Joyce replied: “It doesn’t work like that – if I can’t prove that you [didn’t rob] a bank then it doesn’t prove ipso facto that you did.”“Why do people keep throwing it out there?” he asked. When Kelly replied that the complaint had not been disproved either, Joyce replied: “It doesn’t work like that – if I can’t prove that you [didn’t rob] a bank then it doesn’t prove ipso facto that you did.”
Asked why the National party said it couldn’t make a finding, Joyce angrily replied: “Because there’s nothing to find, Fran.”Asked why the National party said it couldn’t make a finding, Joyce angrily replied: “Because there’s nothing to find, Fran.”
In reference to opposition from rural women and others to his return, Joyce said “a lot of people want to rule me out of politics” because they came from a side that would benefit.In reference to opposition from rural women and others to his return, Joyce said “a lot of people want to rule me out of politics” because they came from a side that would benefit.
'Anyone but Nats': Rural figures come out against Barnaby Joyce and Nationals
He accused his opponents of trying to rule him out “not because you’re ineffective” but because “you’re effective and they don’t want you as part of the political game”.He accused his opponents of trying to rule him out “not because you’re ineffective” but because “you’re effective and they don’t want you as part of the political game”.
“That’s exactly what I said at the start [about] that form of politics – beat me on policy, don’t beat me on innuendo … I’m not going to be pushed around by this sort of hanging things out there because if we can do it, let’s start doing it to everybody and we’re better than that.”“That’s exactly what I said at the start [about] that form of politics – beat me on policy, don’t beat me on innuendo … I’m not going to be pushed around by this sort of hanging things out there because if we can do it, let’s start doing it to everybody and we’re better than that.”
Speaking publicly for the first time in September, Marriott said she never wanted her anonymous complaint to the Western Australian branch of the National party to be made public but the party had leaked it.Speaking publicly for the first time in September, Marriott said she never wanted her anonymous complaint to the Western Australian branch of the National party to be made public but the party had leaked it.
Marriott did not describe the incident in detail, saying she did not want to be defined by it, but described her distressed response including crying, losing sleep for a week andfeeling “terrified” about whether to make a complaint.Marriott did not describe the incident in detail, saying she did not want to be defined by it, but described her distressed response including crying, losing sleep for a week andfeeling “terrified” about whether to make a complaint.
Joyce has denied any allegation of sexual harassment.Joyce has denied any allegation of sexual harassment.
Barnaby JoyceBarnaby Joyce
National partyNational party
Australian politicsAustralian politics
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