Former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce singled out Malcolm Turnbull in announcing the infamous ministerial bonk ban as the beginning of the end of his premiership.
The controversial policy was announced after Mr Joyce’s extramarital affair with former employee Vikki Campion and resulting pregnancy was revealed in 2018.
Mr Turnbull, who could not sack the Nationals leader as deputy prime minister, publicly condemned Mr Joyce’s behavior, before announcing a ban on bonking by stopping ministers from having sex with members of staff.
“I remember watching (Mr Turnbull announcing the policy) on television… and I was like ‘what is this gauge doing,'” Mr Joyce said.
Barnaby Joyce’s affair with Vikki Campion led Malcolm Turnbull to introduce a ‘bonk ban’
Mr Turnbull publicly condemned Mr Joyce’s behaviour, before announcing a bonk ban by stopping ministers from having sex with staff members.
The comments were made in a new Sky News documentary, Liberals in Power, Part One, which exposes the infighting and tensions during the federal Liberal Party’s nine years in power.
Although Mr Joyce resigned as national leader and deputy prime minister shortly after the affair came to light, he said his departure also cemented Mr Turnbull’s own demise.
“I remember saying to Peter Dutton ‘Look, as soon as I’m gone as deputy prime minister, Turnbull will be gone in three months,'” he told interviewer Chris Kenny.
“It’s an incredibly bombastic, selfish statement, but it’s the truth (that) when he lost me, he lost.”
Mr Turnbull, who did not feature in the documentary, would survive an outburst from then Home Affairs Minister Mr Dutton later that year on August 21, before being replaced by the then-Treasurer Scott Morrison a week later.
Mr. Joyce and his wife of 22 years and mother of his four daughters, Natalie Abberfield, have divorced. Mr Joyce had two sons with Ms Campion, with the two exchanging vows on Sunday.
Mr Joyce and Ms Campion were married this weekend
Mr Joyce gave Mr Turnbull a scathing critique of his leadership and said he had found himself in a rut which had seen him become an “ineffective”, “paranoid” and “distracted” leader.
“They forget they’re the prime minister, they think they’re the president, and then they think they’re sort of there to show up for life and they’re not going to engage in any discussions,” he said. he declared.
“Their circle of friends is getting smaller and smaller and they listen to too few people.
“That’s what happened to Malcolm.”
Scott Morrison has defended banning bonking as the “right thing to do”.
Speaking to Kenny, Mr Morrison defended the bonking ban as the “right thing to do”.
“I took a principled position on this and it was the right position… Ministers should not have sexual relations with their aides,” he said.
Federal Liberal senator Linda Reynolds, who voted for Mr Morrison over Mr Dutton, said Mr Morrison had managed to unify the coalition after a tumultuous period.
“He did it, somewhat unexpectedly, but he did it,” she said.
“I don’t think anyone else in those circumstances could have done it.”