As Barnaby Joyce’s political future hangs in the balance, it’s been revealed where the pressure was coming from for he and former-staffer turned partner Vikki Campion to abort their pregnancy.
Sunday Night reporter Alex Cullen spoke exclusively to the former deputy prime minister and new mother in what is set to be their first televised interview since their affair became public, and since the birth of their son Sebastian on April 16.
Ahead of the episode’s airing on Sunday, Cullen explained to Sunrise co-host David Koch where that pressure came from for the couple to abort the pregnancy.
“The pressure on her was immense, you’ve got a 30-year-old woman who’s having an affair with the then deputy prime minister of Australia,” he said.
Cullen told Koch that the pressure was “coming from Barnaby’s side of politics” but chose not to elaborate whether it was headed by the Nationals or the prime minister’s office.
Ms Campion said “you can’t help who you fall in love with”, adding that she would “do anything to protect” her newborn son.
On Sunday Night Ms Campion will address her affair with Mr Joyce, reaction from his wife as well as the attacks and criticism from political figures.
It comes as Mr Joyce started leave this week, seeing him take time off until mid-June.
“Contrary to reports, I’m taking leave until June 15 following a routine check-up. The medical certificate provided allowed for a month,” Mr Joyce tweeted.
“I look forward to resuming parliamentary duties. The electorate office will continue normal operations in this fortnight.”
Nationals leader Michael McCormack confirmed Mr Joyce presented a medical certificate before the party gave him four weeks paid sick leave.
Mr McCormack, the current deputy prime minister, also told Michelle Grattan’s The Conversation podcast it was up to Mr Joyce’s electorate whether he stayed in politics.
“That’ll be a matter for him and that’ll be a matter for the National party in New England,” Mr McCormack said.
Barnaby Joyce and Vikki Campion’s exclusive interview airs on Sunday Night, June 3 at 8.30pm (AEST).