Opposition leader Peter Dutton defended Barnaby Joyce after he was caught on video lying on his back near a gutter and muttering profanities into his phone.
Daily Mail Australia revealed exclusive images of the country’s former deputy prime minister, 56, lying on the sidewalk on Lonsdale Street in the Canberra suburb of Braddon on Wednesday at 11:26 p.m.
Sources claimed the Nationals leader was sitting in a large flower pot while having an animated telephone conversation with his wife, Vikki Campion, when he fell, “rolled” on the floor and continued with his call.
The incident has sparked calls from the Labor Party for the Nationals MP to come forward and explain the “disturbing” incident, while Dutton has defended Joyce.
“It’s quite tough when people walk past someone who might need support,” Dutton told Sky News on Sunday.
“But I’ll have a chat with Barnaby this week and (Nationals leader) David Littleproud spoke to Barnaby… also this week and that’s where the situation is at the moment.”
Dutton broke his silence when residents saw a chalk drawing of Joyce’s profile at the spot where the former Nationals leader had fallen.
The photo shows the actual image of Mr. Joyce lying on the ground near the ditch and traffic.
Peter Dutton (pictured) defended Barnaby Joyce after he was caught on video lying on his back near a manhole, as a cheeky monument appeared at the site.
Opposition Treasury spokesman Angus Taylor said Joyce’s welfare must be the top priority.
“Look, people like to jump to conclusions about these things and I certainly don’t and I don’t think anyone should,” he told ABC’s Insiders.
‘I think the main issue for us is Barnaby’s wellbeing and we will continue to focus on that. I will certainly continue to focus on that.
“He was clearly not (well) at the time.”
A photo of the chalk outline was shared on Reddit, where social media users called for a permanent marker to be installed at the spot.
“You really have to cast it in bronze,” wrote one.
Another added: “We should put a little plaque there.”
“I love how creative people are, it really makes me feel better especially knowing there are Australians who voted for him in the first place,” wrote a third.
Opposition Veterans Affairs spokesperson Joyce downplayed the video as “embarrassing” and said it had fallen from a planter after walking home from a late-night parliamentary function.
“I was walking back to my accommodation after Parliament rose at 10pm,” he said.
‘While talking on the phone I sat on the edge of a flower pot, fell, continued talking on the phone and very animatedly referred to myself for falling.
“I got up and walked home.”
Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the situation was a matter for the opposition but asked Mr Joyce to come forward and explain his behavior to the public.
‘I know people will have fun with this, but from a personal point of view, I don’t like to see anyone in that state. I find it a little disturbing,” Dr. Chalmers said. News from heaven on Sunday.
Over the weekend, a bold chalk outline of Mr Joyce’s crime scene (pictured) appeared at the scene to mark the latest incident to befall a man prone to making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
I’m not going to attack Barnaby for that. You need to explain it.
Peter Campion, father of Joyce’s wife Vikki Campion, said the former deputy prime minister had received a devastating message shortly before the incident.
“He had some very bad family news that day,” Campion told Daily Mail Australia on Saturday.
‘He already lost a brother to cancer, that’s what you have to start with. He had similar very bad news, which is not my place to divulge but of the same magnitude and it affected him deeply.
‘As my daughter said, he was in a very, very bad place and was deeply depressed.
‘Any decent person who came across someone in that situation, so sad that they let themselves collapse on the road, would stop and help, not just take a video clip and sell it to the media.
“The most important part of this story was not that Barnaby was an emotional wreck along the way, but the lack of caring character of his countrymen, his fellow Australians.”