Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said on Friday he will resign as leader of his party and will move to the backbench after weeks of pressure over an extra-marital affair with his former media secretary.
Joyce said he will step down on Monday as leader of the National Party, the junior partner in Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s centre-right coalition. He will remain in parliament, safeguarding Turnbull’s shaky one-seat majority.
Joyce, a practising Catholic, campaigned on family values and is the father of four children but has left his marriage of 24 years and is expecting a child with his former media secretary.
His decision to call a media conference on Friday, confirmed by his party, came after a new allegation of sexual harassment was made by an unidentified individual.
His resignation comes after a falling out with Turnbull, who is in the United States for meetings with U.S. President Donald Trump and who declined to leave him in charge while he is out of the country.
This story is developing, check back for updates.
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