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Ministers Must Not Have Sex With Staff, Turnbull Declares

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has declared he will rewrite the ministerial code of conduct in light of the Barnaby Joyce affair.

Deputy Prime Minister Joyce is now taking leave – while the Prime Minister is travelling overseas – a week after it was revealed that he had an affair with a former staffer, Vikki Campion, who is now pregnant with his child.

Mr Turnbull announced at Parliament House on Thursday that the ministerial code of conduct will now be very clear.

“Ministers, whether they are married or single, must not engage in sexual relations with their staff,” the Prime Minister said.

“Today in 2018 it is not acceptable for a minister to have a sexual relationship with somebody who works for them. It is very bad workplace practice.”

He said the current code of conduct “does not speak strongly enough for the values that we should all live,” and ministers must acknowledge the sacrifice that their spouses and children make for their political careers.

“Barnaby made a shocking error of judgement in having an affair with a young woman in his office,” Mr Turnbull said.

“I encouraged him to take that leave,” Mr Turnbull continued.

“He needs that time to reflect. He needs that time to seek forgiveness and understanding form his wife and girls. He needs that time to build a new home with his partner and baby.”

The Prime Minister admitted that changes to the ministerial standards “probably should have been made a long time ago”.

“This is the standard I will hold form this day forward all my ministers to,” he said.

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