PM Turnbull Announces Changes To Ministerial Standards Following Barnaby Joyce Saga

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Turnbull said that as a result, he was updating the ministerial code as of today to make it a breach to have such a sexual relationship.

The opposition Labor Party had hoped disaffected lawmakers in Barnaby Joyce's own Nationals party would back their motion, but coalition lawmakers in the House of Representatives held firm and defeated it 73 to 70.

Mr Dreyfus said the deputy prime minister attended the $5000 event hosted by the hotel, but again Mr Joyce rejected any knowledge.

"Ministers should be very conscious that their spouses and children sacrifice a great deal so they can carry on their political career and their families deserve honour and respect", he said.

"Ministers must behave accordingly".

Ms. McGowan said Thursday that although she welcomed the prime minister's announcement, the government should consider a code of conduct for all those who work in Parliament.

Labor says Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has questions to answer about $5000 of taxpayers' money being paid to a friend's business.

"I encouraged him to take that leave", Mr Turnbull continued. The high-profile conservative had only returned to parliament in December after briefly losing his job over his New Zealand dual citizenship.

"The real issue is the awful hurt and humiliation that Barnaby, by his conduct, has visited upon his wife, Natalie, and their daughters and, indeed, his new partner, Barnaby made a shocking error of judgement", Mr Turnbull said.

Mr Turnbull revealed a re-write of the ministerial code to ban sexual relationships between his ministers and their staff, and slammed Mr Joyce for his "shocking error of judgement".

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Mr Joyce declared the townhouse rent on his members' interests register even though he said he did not need to do so.

Announcing he was changing ministerial standards to ban ministers from having sexual relations with their staff, a solemn Mr Turnbull conceded if Mr Joyce had done "what he did a year ago tomorrow or today he would be in breach of the code".

"If people believe that Barnaby Joyce has broken the law, then lay charges". He's a hardened battler who normally revels in the noisy confrontation of politics.

With the storm around him showing no sign of slowing, Mr Joyce will hope his impromptu holiday can somehow calm matters.

But his opponents are unlikely to stop sniping, just because he's taken cover. No permission was sought for Ms Campion.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, as deputy Liberal leader, would normally step in if Joyce was unavailable.

ALP Leader Bill Shorten questioned whether Joyce taking leave means he is incapable of doing his job.

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