4 June 2018Hot off the Press
Image credit: Sunday Night (Seven Network)
Nationals backbencher Barnaby Joyce said in an interview on Channel 7’s Sunday Night, that when he discovered his partner had fallen pregnant in mid-2017, he knew he was going to lose his position as deputy prime minister, but continued into a by-election without revealing his personal situation.
The paid interview featured Mr Joyce sitting alongside his former media adviser, Vikki Campion, who told the program that she had taken a pregnancy test in the winter of 2017. Ms Campion gave birth to their son, Sebastian, in April this year.
Mr Joyce said the $150,000 paid to him and Ms Campion for the interview is going towards his son’s trust fund.
The couple were faced with a difficult decision as they revealed that certain conservatives within parliament approached Ms Campion and urged her to get an abortion, a move they said would secure her a position in the Government.
Ms Campion said she considered an abortion but could not bring herself to go through with it.
“I bought the medicine online … I drove interstate, I walked in, and I walked out again,” she said.
Mr Joyce described those who told his partner to terminate the pregnancy in exchange for a job in Canberra as “absolute scum-of-the-earth people”.
Mr Joyce explained that after the affair with Ms Campion was revealed to the public, he knew he would have to step down from his ministerial position, acknowledging that the controversy left him little choice. Mr Joyce resigned from his position in February.
“I’ll be frank. I don’t believe in abortion. I knew at that point that I was going to lose my job as deputy prime minister,” Mr Joyce said.
He said that after stepping down, private citizens like himself and his family needed to be protected from the extreme scrutiny they encountered after the fallout of the affair.
“It’s incredibly important that there be a circuit-breaker, not just for the Parliament but, more importantly, a circuit-breaker for Vikki, for my unborn child, my daughters, and for Nat,” he said.
“This has got to stop. It’s not fair on them. It’s just completely and utterly unwarranted, the sort of observation that’s happened.”
The interview ended with a series of family portraits, and showed Mr Joyce bathing his son.
“You just look at these two blue eyes staring up at the blue sky and staring back at you and you look at Sebastian and you think, ‘boy, you caused some problems, but it was all worth it’,” Mr Joyce said.