Labor to push Joyce over jobs for partner

February 11, 2018

Barnaby Joyce's pregnant partner left his office to work for other National MPs.

The minister whose department oversees the hiring of political staff doesn't believe there was anything untoward in the appointment of Barnaby Joyce's pregnant partner to jobs in two different National Party offices .

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann says because Vikki Campion was a staffer for National Party ministers, decisions relating to her employment were made by the coalition's junior partner.

Ms Campion, a former journalist, was initially a media advisor in the deputy prime minister's office before working for cabinet minister Matt Canavan.

When Senator Canavan stepped down from the front bench awaiting a High Court ruling on his citizenship status, she shifted to the office of then-Nationals whip Damien Drum.

Media reports this week suggested Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was involved in approving those two appointments and Labor is pressuring him to explain what happened.

But Senator Cormann says everything was appropriate.

"She's clearly somebody who is qualified to do the job and she was hired in certain positions based on merit and there's nothing really further to add," he told Sky News on Sunday.

"All of my advice is that everything was absolutely above board."

Asked if any special jobs had been created for a minister's girlfriend, he said: "That is self-evidently not what happened."

Mr Turnbull has said he was not aware of any inappropriate spending of public funds relating to the affair.

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