Coalition to face more questions over Barnaby Joyce affair

Mrs Joyce begged Father Brennan- who is a family friend- to counsel the deputy prime minister to end the relationship

MPs from Australia's conservative National Party have expressed concern about the marriage breakdown and affair of the Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce at a party room meeting.

Questions are now being asked about Ms Campion's employment during her time with the federal Nationals, after the media advisor previous year moved from Mr Joyce's office to the office of minister Matt Canavan and later to the office of Nationals whip Damian Drum.

The PM's office contends there was no breach of the ministerial code of conduct because Campion was not Joyce's partner.

'I would not expect to see Barnaby leading the Nationals into the next election.

'He could have got out of it a bit better I thought if he had gone on and said, 'I really regret the pain that I have inflicted on my family, on my wife Natalie, and on my four daughters, I still really love my daughters'.

Mr Canavan's office said Ms Campion was hired for a specific role, but would not reveal whether her salary increased. Joyce refused to provide further details when pressed by the ABC about the matter over the weekend.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce was reportedly reluctant to remove the woman he was having an affair with from his office - until Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull intervened.

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She said it would be fine to transfer someone internally if they had the right skills but normally there would also be a process where other candidates could apply for a position.

The pair were also revealed to be living together rent-free in an Armidale townhouse gifted by the deputy prime minister's multi-millionaire friend.

But Mr Joyce told AAP in a statement the Nationals were responsible for all staffing for the party's MPs.

"The only area in which there is a genuine public interest is in the area of the expenditure of taxpayers funds and there have been questions over the last couple of days about jobs that have been created for Vikki Campion, the expenditure of taxpayer funds on travel", Ms Plibersek told the ABC on Sunday.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann says because Vikki Campion was a staffer for National Party ministers, decisions relating to her employment were made by the coalition's junior partner.

"All of my advice is that everything was absolutely above board". Veteran Liberal senator Eric Abetz said it was an "untidy situation" but Ms Campion was a "highly valuable staff member" who would be an asset in anyone's office.

The spokesman said Turnbull was unaware of the relationship between Joyce and his former staffer.

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