AN unapologetic and defiant Barnaby Joyce has declared God will be the only judge of his personal choices, revealing he probably would have lied to Malcolm Turnbull over his affair with a young staffer if the Prime Minister had directly asked.

In the first interview alongside Vikki Campion, the mother of his unborn son, from his rent-free Armidale flat he described as "a bachelor's pad", Mr Joyce said he will hold on as Nationals Leader because the "tide will turn" and people will "get bored of it".

 

Rather than stay out of the limelight during a week of personal leave, Mr Joyce instead gave an interview to a sympathetic Fairfax reporter, insisting "we didn't breach the code ... we weren't partners" when plum government jobs were created for Ms Campion, who is due in April.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce with his former staffer and now partner Vikki Campion.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce with his former staffer and now partner Vikki Campion.

In the interview, Ms Campion produced pay slips to show she was paid up to $138,000 a year and praised her two brothers.

Mr Joyce, who would be Acting Prime Minister this week if not for the scandal, attacked The Daily Telegraph for revealing their affair, and publishing a picture of Ms Campion pregnant.

Mr Joyce enjoys a soft drink at The Royal Armidale after the Nationals Party NSW branch general meeting on Wednesday night. Picture: Hollie Adams/The Australian
Mr Joyce enjoys a soft drink at The Royal Armidale after the Nationals Party NSW branch general meeting on Wednesday night. Picture: Hollie Adams/The Australian

He said he should not get a "gold star" for his adulterous behaviour, adding, in the third person, "he has made a commitment, he is with her, they're having a child, and in a 2018 world there is nothing terribly much to see there.

"The one thing that has deeply annoyed me is that there is somehow an inference that this child is somehow less worthy than other children, and it's almost spoken about in the third person," he told James Massola, who works for Fairfax in the Canberra Press Gallery.

"I love my daughters, I have four beautiful daughters and I love them to death. And now I will have a son, I don't pick winners, I am not gonna love one more than the another, but I'm not gonna love one less than another either," he said.

"I don't want our child to grow up as some sort of public display. "That's between me and my God."

Joyce told Fairfax only god would judge him over his affair with staffer Vicki Campion. Picture: Hollie Adams/The Australian
Joyce told Fairfax only god would judge him over his affair with staffer Vicki Campion. Picture: Hollie Adams/The Australian

"(The Prime Minister) never asked any direct questions and to be honest, if I believed it was private, I wouldn't have told him either.

According to the report, the only on-the-record comment made by Ms Campion, a former senior journalist at The Daily Telegraph, was that her son's middle names would be in honour of her two brothers.

She would not pose for photos with Mr Joyce. The couple revealed they would also be leaving their rent-free apartment because people now knew where they lived.



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