The life and times of Barnaby Joyce

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BARNABY JOYCE

RURAL ROOTS

- Joyce is a Catholic and one of six children raised on a sheep and cattle farm in rural NSW's New England district.

- He studied financial administration in Armidale where he met future wife Natalie; they married in 1993 and had four daughters.

- He then worked on farms, as a rural banker and an accountant before setting up his own practice in St George, Queensland.

EARLY POLITICAL CAREER

- Joyce was elected a senator for Queensland in 2004, taking his seat in 2005.

- He was quickly branded a maverick for refusing to guarantee support for his own government's policies.

- He crossed the floor 28 times but stopped when he became a minister and was duty-bound to side with the government.

THE RISE

- Joyce resigned from the Senate before the 2013 election to return to NSW and contest the lower house seat of New England.

- His win gained him the agriculture ministry and the deputy leadership of the Nationals.

- He was famously described by Johnny Depp as resembling an inbred tomato after the then-agriculture minister berated the actor for illegally importing his pet dogs in 2015.

- Joyce has also held portfolios for water, resources, northern Australia, infrastructure and transport.

- He was elected Nationals leader unopposed in early 2016 replacing the retiring Warren Truss and elevating him to the deputy prime ministership.

- Joyce revealed in August 2017 that he may hold New Zealand citizenship via his father.

- The High Court ruled him ineligible to sit in parliament, triggering a by-election.

- Joyce reclaimed New England at the December 2 by-election, with almost two thirds of the vote and an increased majority after surrendering his New Zealand citizenship.

THE AFFAIR

- Joyce returned to parliament on December 6 and the next day, amid the same-sex marriage debate, confirmed long-running rumours that his marriage was over but there was no mention of an affair.

- He justified his ongoing opposition to same-sex marriage by saying the traditional, heterosexual definition had stood the test of time even though his marriage had not.

- On February 7, News Corp splashed with a story that Joyce was expecting a baby with former staffer Vikki Campion, with the child due mid-April.

- Joyce's wife Natalie said she and her daughters felt deceived and hurt and that she understood the affair had been "going on for many months and started when she was a paid employee".

- On February 13, Joyce confirmed Campion is his partner but denied she was when she was working in his office, nor when she moved to a new job in cabinet minister Matt Canavan's office, or another job with Damian Drum.

- He also denied breaching the ministerial code of conduct, which forbids frontbenchers from employing close relatives or partners or getting them work in other ministerial offices without the prime minister's approval.

- Malcolm Turnbull announced Mr Joyce will take leave from February 19-25 and will not serve as acting prime minister when the PM is in Washington.

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