Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce has conceded he made a “big mistake” after being filmed lying on the ground in a suit yelling expletives in Canberra last week.
Mr. Joyce, who is currently the shadow minister for veterans affairs, had fallen off a pot plant at night and was seen lying on the footpath in Lonsdale Street, Canberra at 11:26 p.m. on Feb. 7.
Explaining the incident on Sunrise, Mr. Joyce admitted his error and blamed a combination of prescription drugs and alcohol for the incident.
“There is a reason, and it was a very eventful walk home wasn’t it? I’m on a prescription drug, and they say certain things may happen to you if you drink, and they were absolutely 100 percent right.
Labor Ministers Suggest Joyce Needs HelpLabor ministers were relatively measured when discussing Mr. Joyce on Feb. 12, encouraging him to seek help following the incident.
Government services minister Bill Shorten said Mr. Joyce “needs support” rather than a Labor politician piling in on the matter.
“I don’t know what’s happened there. I’m not about to join in on any sort of lynch mob. About what’s happened and what hasn’t. I think he needs support. That’s what he’s seeking.”
Finance Minister Katy Gallagher said, “Personally I hope he gets the help he needs” because it’s a “very unusual position for someone of that age to be in.”
“I think it confirms you know, in people’s minds, the public’s minds, negative association with politics, and I think that’s a real shame.”
Treasurer Jim Chalmers said he does not like to see “anyone in that state. I find it a little disturbing.”
Nationals leader David Littleproud, speaking to reporters in Canberra on Feb. 12, refused to delve into the personal circumstances of the incident and revealed he will have a conversation with Mr. Joyce about his role in parliament.
“We’re not going to sit there and publicly talk about individuals or prosecute individuals. This is a personal situation that Barnaby’s deeply embarrassed about and I, as leader, want to create the environment where I lead.
‘They Could Not Even Check He Was OK’: WifeMr. Joyce’s wife Vikki Campion has questioned why the witness who took the photograph did not check if he was alright following the incident.
“On another occasion, he picked up a hospital patient who was walking around disoriented and took him back to the hospital. It’s disgusting that when he was in need they could not even check he was OK.”
Opposition leader Peter Dutton also echoed these concerns that rather than filming, the onlooker could have helped Mr. Joyce.
The decision on whether Mr. Joyce will remain on the front bench following the incident will be up to the Nationals, according to Mr. Dutton.
“It’s a matter for the Nationals Party in relation to their own party room and it’s David’s decision about the people he wants to have on the frontbench.
“More broadly, the question about my frontbench, I think we’re in the strongest position any opposition has been in in decades. I’m proud of the frontbench we’ve got.”