Joyce knew job untenable after pregnancy

Barnaby Joyce says he knew his role as deputy PM was in danger ahead of a crucial by-election

Barnaby Joyce, upon learning his new partner Vikki Campion was pregnant, fought for his political survival despite knowing his position as deputy prime minister was untenable.

Ms Campion claims she was also told by "conservatives" within parliament to abort her child.

In a tear-filled interview on the Seven Network on Sunday, Ms Campion says she couldn't terminate the pregnancy because her baby Sebastian had a heartbeat.

"And they said if you don't, they're going to come after you. And they did."

When asked to specify who gave her the order, she said "people who are supposed to be conservative".

Former National Party chief Mr Joyce said the impact the affair and pregnancy would have on his wife and four daughters was of utmost importance to him.

"To be quite frank, I couldn't give a s*** about the political ramifications, really," he said.

As pressure mounted, Mr Joyce campaigned and retained his seat of New England in a by-election last December brought about by a High Court ruling that he was a dual citizen.

He resigned in late February, weeks after the affair and pregnancy were sensationally revealed in tabloid newspapers.

"Toward the end, I was fighting more out of spite than logic," he said.

He said he knew he would be out of the job by the time Sebastian was born.

But Mr Joyce hit out at Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for calling a press conference to criticise his deputy's judgment.

"That was wrong," he told Seven's Sunday Night program, conceding he "didn't expect a gold star" for his actions.