February 23, 2018 / 3:16 AM / 6 months ago

Australian deputy prime minister resigns from Cabinet, remains in parliament

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said on Friday he will resign as leader of his party and will move to the backbench after weeks of pressure over an extra-marital affair with his former media secretary.

Barnaby Joyce, Australia's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, speaks during a media conference in the town of Armidale, Australia February 23, 2018. AAP/Marlon Dalton/via REUTERS

Joyce said he will step down on Monday as leader of the National party, the junior partner in Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s centre-right coalition. He will remain in parliament, safeguarding Turnbull’s shaky one-seat majority.

Joyce, a practising Catholic, has been married for 24 years and has campaigned on “family values”.

Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Paul Tait

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