Australian PM bans sex between ministers and staff after deputy’s ‘shocking’ affair

By: Reuters | Sydney |
Updated: February 15, 2018 4:48 pm

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, File)

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Thursday banned sex between ministers and staff and rounded on his deputy for a “shocking error of judgment” by having an affair with a press secretary. Deputy Australian Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, a Catholic who campaigned on “family values” and married for 24 years, is expecting a child with his former staffer in April.

Turnbull denounced the affair at a press conference in Canberra after a week in which the scandal threw his centre-right government into turmoil and strained the alliance between his Liberal Party and Joyce’s National Party. He stopped short of sacking Joyce, which would have put the government’s narrow one-seat majority at risk were he…

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