Labor on Barnaby Joyce row: Someone has to go

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says gun control is a matter for the US

Mr Joyce today began five days personal leave after a tumultuous week that culminated in a public falling out with Mr Turnbull and murmurings about his position as Nationals leader. It is the 27th consecutive Newspoll lost by the Coalition.

Up to 65 per cent of voters across the country believe the deputy prime minister should resign with a third of those also believing Mr Joyce should quit federal parliament.

That provoked an angry response from Mr Joyce, who said the remarks were "inept" and "unnecessary".

Mr Turnbull's Liberals are the dominant partner, but the party relies on support from Mr Joyce's rural-based Nationals to govern. "How that's received, time will tell".

At one point during the program, Ms Hayes told the couple she felt like she had entered a room with "couple of lovebirds". But questions have been raised about her employment in two government jobs after working in Joyce's office and the rent-free apartment owned by a wealthy political donor where Joyce and Campion now live.

"He has set off a world of woe for those women and appalled all of us", Turnbull said.

"Barnaby Joyce has my confidence as deputy prime minister", Turnbull said. The Senate on Thursday passed a motion for Joyce to resign, saying he had breached standards of behaviour expected of a minister.

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"Saying you're speaking for 25 million people is a bit presumptuous, but I certainly felt that the values I expressed and the action I took, would have the overwhelming endorsement of Australians".

The scandal prompted the Prime Minister to ban sexual relationships between ministers and their staff.

"She, Lucy, absolutely agrees, and I mean, who would disagree?"

Turnbull's predecessor, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, said yesterday that if politicians wanted to give each other advice, they should do so by knocking on their door and picking up the phone to talk directly. We think this area needs more voices, reasoned analysis and ideas than just those provided by News Corp, lifestyle mags, Facebook groups and corporate newsletters.

Speaking in Melbourne earlier on Sunday afternoon, Mr Turnbull described a conversation he had Mr Joyce the day before as "frank".

The trigger for the Prime Minister's decision was a scandal involving Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, whose 24-year long marriage broke down last year after he had an affair with a staff member, who is now pregnant with their baby, CNN reported.

Mr Turnbull will head to the United States for a landmark trip later in the week.

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