22:39 GMT26 October 2020
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    This week has seen a sexual harassment complaint against Australian Deputy Prime Minister and National party leader Barnaby Joyce, who rejects it as "spurious and defamatory."

    Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is due to step down as the country's Deputy Prime Minister and the head of his party, now that it's become public that he is romantically involved with his former staffer Vikki Campion, who is now pregnant with his child, according to Australia's ABC News

    Separately, the 50-year-old, who has a wife and several children, is facing a sexual harassment claim which was earlier received by the Nationals and which he has flatly rejected as "spurious and defamatory."

    READ MORE: UK Minister Denies Sexual Harassment Allegations as 'False, Malicious'

    Joyce announced his decision on Friday, saying that he would stand down at a meeting of the Nationals in Canberra on Monday morning but that he would not resign from parliament.

    "It is quite evident that you can't go to the dispatch box while issues like that are surrounding you," he said.

    Citing a "litany of allegations" which he said hold no water, Joyce described the sexual harassment complaint as "the straw that broke the camel's back."

    "I don't deserve the support that you've given me," he noted referring to the people of his New England, NSW constituency and his supporters.

    With a ballot to determine the fate of the Deputy Prime Minister scheduled for 8pm on February 24, Michael McCormack, the Minister for Veterans Affairs and Defense Personnel, is already tipped to become a frontrunner.

    Twitter users have, meanwhile, showed mixed reaction to the news about Joyce's resignation. Some did mince words when expressing satisfaction about his stepping down.


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    sexual harassment, complaint, allegations, resignation, Barnaby Joyce, Australia
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