Australia's deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce stated on Friday that he will resign as party leader.
"I think Barnaby is a good man who is going through a rough time".
Joyce, a political maverick who has led his party since elections in mid-2016, said he would not accept any ministerial portfolio. This has got to stop. Amid pressure from his own party, the member for New England said on Friday he would remain in the seat but would move to the backbench.
He said he made a decision to resign after an allegation of sexual harassment from a Western Australian woman emerged on Friday.
"Over the last month, there has been a litany of allegations, I don't believe any of them have been sustained", Joyce told reporters, reported 7News.
As AP had reporter earlier, Turnbull had accused Joyce of making a "shocking error of judgment" by having an office affair that hurt his wife, his four daughters and his new partner who is due to give birth in April.
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Both of the region's MPs also backed controversial legislation introduced by the Prime Minister which banned sexual relations with staff.
"I acknowledge your concerns, however it should also be said that you don't have a Federal member of Parliament in the National Party of Australia, your last member spending time nearly exclusively as an independent and only once or twice coming to the National Party room meetings".
While he appealed for privacy, the outgoing Nationals leader has remained front page news all week, as a series of questions about his actions during 2017, when he was in an off-on relationship with Campion, his former media advisor.
Australia's High Court ruled Joyce ineligible to sit in parliament after it was revealed he held New Zealand citizenship by descent.
The Victorian Nationals steered clear of the issue, with state leader Peter Walsh issuing a one-line statement saying the federal leadership of the National Party was a matter for the federal party room.
Assistant Families Minister David Gillespie could put his hand up to replace Joyce amid reports the NSW Nationals MP has indicated to colleagues his willingness to run if he resigns.
"Might I say right here, any person in any political party always says, the leaking, the backgrounding, all that, it will destroy not only our government, it will destroy any government", he said at the press conference today.
Despite three weeks of negative publicity and open tension with Turnbull, Joyce seemed determined to keep his position.