Parliament rejects call for firing of Australia's deputy PM

Parliament rejects call for firing of Australia's deputy PM

He said ministers would be sacked for having sex with staff members under the new rules.

Mr Turnbull said while ministers were entitled to personal privacy they also occupied "positions of great responsibility and public trust".

"I think we know that the real issue is the bad hurt and humiliation that Barnaby, by his conduct, has visited upon his wife, Natalie, and their daughters and, indeed, his new partner".

"In having an affair with a young woman working in his office". "They must not have sexual relations with their staff, that's it".

Mr Turnbull said he did not care if ministers were married or single, they must not have sexual relations with staff.

But with the opposition questioning whether Joyce had breached the government's guidelines for ministerial conduct, Turnbull announced on Thursday that Joyce will not serve as acting prime minister when Turnbull travels to the United States next week.

"What we saw from the Prime Minister today was a Prime Minister who doesn't have confidence in his own deputy and doesn't seem to have the wit to work out how to do anything about it", Mr Albanese said.

The overturning of usual practice when the head of government is absent is a clear indication of the prospect of substantial embarrassment were Mr Joyce to take the job.

The Senate passed a motion calling on Joyce to resign, but it has no authority to enforce such a move.

Joyce's appointment as acting PM has been a subject of concern in Parliament after questions surrounding whether Joyce had followed the code of ministerial conduct were raised in regards to Campion's employment.

He changed his tune after a painful week for the government as Mr Joyce's conduct came under increased scrutiny.

Labour accused him of breaching ministerial standards by asking for a place to live, and in effect receiving a gift of not paying rent for six months.

Barnaby Joyce and Wife Natalie arrive at the 43rd Golden Guitar Country Music Awards of Australia on January 24, 2015 in Tamworth, Australia. "Probably should have been made a long time ago".

"Ministers should be very conscious that their spouses and children sacrifice a great deal so they can carry on their political career and their families deserve honour and respect", he said.

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Mr Joyce is the man who took on Johnny Depp, a man he called a "dipstick", and won; the politician who survived the citizenship row and was re-elected with an increased majority.

ALP Leader Bill Shorten questioned whether Joyce taking leave means he is incapable of doing his job.