Australia’s prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has no regrets about the new sex ban prohibiting cabinet ministers from having sexual relations with their staffers.
Mr Turnbull announced the ban on Thursday after it was revealed deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce had an extramarital affair with his media adviser with the PM labelling it a ‘shocking error of judgment’.
‘I certainly felt that the values I expressed and the action I took, would have the overwhelming endorsement of Australians. I felt it was absolutely the right thing to do,’ Mr Turnbull told the Nine Network’s 60 Minutes program on Sunday.
He said the public wanted to hear his ‘heartfelt views’ about what had happened.
Mr Turnbull revealed he had also consulted with his wife of 38 years, Lucy, about the sex ban.
‘Yes Lucy and I talked about this, this is one of those classic issues where it’s good to take counsel from your wife, life partner,’ he said.
The prime minister also maintained he was not interfering with the Nationals’ party processes despite saying Mr Joyce needed to ‘reflect’ on his position.
Mr Turnbull described Mr Joyce’s affair with Vikki Campion as causing ‘a world of woe’.
But a Nationals MP hit out against the program questioning why the deputy prime minister wasn’t interviewed.
‘Funny that 60 minutes didn’t bother to ask Barnaby Joyce whatever they wanted for tonight’s story when he was on the same floor as their film crew in Sydney’s Commonwealths (sic) Parliamentary Offices on Friday,’ controversial George Christensen tweeted.
Mr Joyce promptly retweeted the statement.