DEPUTY Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is expecting a baby with a younger former member of his staff and confessing to friends that he is madly in love.

Mr Joyce, who opposed same-sex marriage and abstained from the vote in Parliament, confirmed the breakdown of his 24-year marriage to Natalie Joyce, the mother of his four children, during the ­debate over the legislation last year.

But even as rumours and innuendo swept Canberra and the campaign trail during the New England by-­election, Mr Joyce, 50, ­refused to address the subject of his new relationship with former media adviser Vikki Campion, 33.

Vikki Campion and Barnaby Joyce. Source: Facebook
Vikki Campion and Barnaby Joyce. Source: Facebook

The Daily Telegraph can reveal the couple have moved in together and are expecting their first child around April.

Friends have told The Daily Telegraph the pair are madly in love, however Mr Joyce is understood to be very concerned about the welfare of his four daughters, in their late teens and early 20s.

"He has been struggling with the family breakup, it's put an enormous pressure on him," one source said.

"He's had some pretty dark times."

A pregnant Vikki Campion pictured in Canberra. Picture John Grainger
A pregnant Vikki Campion pictured in Canberra. Picture John Grainger

 

Ms Campion, a former journalist and deputy chief of staff at The Daily Telegraph, was pictured walking near her home in Canberra yesterday. She ­declined to comment on her relationship with Mr Joyce.

Ms Campion left Mr Joyce's office in April last year to work for one of his closest colleagues, Resources Minister Matt Canavan, in a more senior role.

Campion is due in April and has moved in with Joyce. Picture: John Grainger
Campion is due in April and has moved in with Joyce. Picture: John Grainger

When Mr Canavan resigned from Cabinet amid questions over his Italian citizenship, she joined the office of ­Nationals chief parliamentary Whip Damian Drum. She then lost her job when Mr Drum moved from his role as Whip to the Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Joyce.

Mr Joyce's office ­declined to comment about his personal situation or the upcoming birth but said Ms Campion was no longer working for the Turnbull government.

"Due to ministerial changes at the ­reshuffle last year, the staff member's contract ended," he said.

"(She) is subject to the same provisions as all other staff."

The Deputy PM and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday. Picture: Mick Tsikas
The Deputy PM and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday. Picture: Mick Tsikas

Mr Joyce and Natalie attended the Canberra Press Gallery Mid-Winter Ball ­together in June last year.

But by the time the Nationals leader was forced to contest the New England by-election, Natalie and his four daughters were nowhere to be seen on the campaign trail, with Mr Joyce publicly confirming he was not living at home.

In October The Daily Telegraph reported Mr Joyce had been dealing with a crisis in his personal life at the same time as he was preparing to fight for his New England seat, after he was forced to resign for holding New Zealand citizenship.

Despite the crisis in his personal life, Mr Joyce comfortably won the New ­England by-election, with a 12.6 per cent swing towards him and 65 per cent of the primary vote.

Mr Joyce, who is Catholic and has spoken often of his conservative social and economic values, took a strong stance against same-sex marriage, advocating for the "current definition of marriage" before abstaining from the final parliamentary vote on December 7.

"I don't come to this debate pretending to be any form of saint, but I do believe in the current definition of marriage, which has stood the test of time," he said.

"I acknowledge that I'm currently separated, so that's on the record.

"It is a special relationship between a man and a woman, predominantly for the purpose of bringing children into the world - if you are so lucky, noting that many people aren't."

Mr Turnbull declined to comment on whether he had been informed about the office romance involving his deputy.

 

Friends say Campion and Joyce are madly in love. Picture: John Grainger
Friends say Campion and Joyce are madly in love. Picture: John Grainger


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