Nationals rally behind Joyce's leadership but he is on notice


Deputy Nationals leader Bridget McKenzie said Mr Joyce had the full support of the party.

But there are others within the National Party who think he should resign.

Former senator Jacqui Lambie on her first day in Parliament in 2014.

The overriding reason was that a majority of Nationals know that Mr Joyce, when unblemished by scandal, is their best political asset.

"There's a lot more stuff that's going on they could be talking about that's more important to the damn country than whacking this out - but this is the way their advisers handle things too", she said.

Ms Campion, who is expecting a baby with Mr Joyce in April, was transferred to work at a new role in fellow Nationals MP Matthew Cavanan's office in April 2017, after working for Mr Joyce from August 2016.

Nationals lawmaker Ken O'Dowd said he expected a party delegation would confront Joyce soon to consider his position.

Ministerial colleague Michael McCormack said he had not been sounded out by colleagues about replacing Mr Joyce.

"There's no leadership to be resolved", he told ABC radio.

Nationals president Larry Anthony was in Canberra to deal with what he called a "very hard time" for the party.

Ms Campion stands among a throng of media and videos a speech while employed as his media advisor
Ms Campion stands among a throng of media and videos a speech while employed as his media advisor

As far as she was concerned, "everything was above board with his office", referring to the questions raised about his travel arrangements.

"When Mr Canavan stood down over the citizenship issue she went to work for another MP and subsequently left the Nationals staff following the most recent reshuffle".

But Mr Joyce told parliament Mr Maguire had contacted him, and in any case it occurred at a time he was seeking preselection for the New England by-election and was not a minister.

Mr Joyce said there was no evidence that he had used taxpayer dollars for trips to conduct a relationship with the staffer.

In a statement yesterday, Mr Joyce confirmed the pair were now in a relationship "without a shadow of doubt", however he vehemently denied they were a couple while Ms Campion worked for Mr Cavanan, making it unnecessary for Mr Joyce to notify Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, as per ministerial codes.

If both the prime minister and deputy prime minister are unable to take Australia's reigns, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop would ordinarily be next in line.

"I am returning to Australia from Kuwait and I do have plans to be overseas next week, parliament is not sitting, if circumstances change then of course, I would change plans", Ms Bishop said.

The Nationals leader is expected to serve as acting prime minister when Malcolm Turnbull travels to the U.S. next Wednesday but may still decide to take personal leave to deal with family matters.

"We will wait and see what happens with that, he has got decisions to make and I think we need to let him have a bit of personal time to sort this out", Ms Landry said.