'I don't deal in rumour and innuendo,' Michael McCormack says

Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce (right) and Member for Riverina Michael McCormack.
Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce (right) and Member for Riverina Michael McCormack.

Member for Riverina Michael McCormack has refused to be drawn into the scandal engulfing his National Party leader Barnaby Joyce.

Mr Joyce has confirmed he has left Natalie, his wife of 24 years and mother of his four daughters, and is now in a relationship with a 33-year-old former employee, Vikki Campion, who is now expecting his baby.

Adding to the pressure on Mr Joyce, who was accused of not coming completely clean on the issue during the recent New England by-election, are claims that fellow Nationals MP Matt Canavan created a highly paid job for Ms Campion in his office after she left Mr Joyce’s.

Mr McCormack told The Daily Advertiser on Friday that “time will tell” how the scandal would affect Mr Joyce.

He also could not be drawn on exactly when the party room had become aware of the issue.

“Well look, there’s always rumours circulating in Canberra, and I don’t deal in rumour and innuendo,” Mr McCormack said.

“I just get on with doing my job to the very best of my ability. That’s why my constituents voted me in in 2010, 2013 and again 2016.”

CSU lecturer Dominic O'Sullivan said the suggestion that a job had been created in the office of Matt Canavan for Mr Joyce’s partner could “put a different light” on the scandal.

“It raises questions that do need answers. I think the public have a right to know if that was a job that needed to be done,” Dr O’Sullivan said.

“It does seem like she was qualified for the job.

“Was he (Matt Canavan) looking for someone to do that job or not? If the answer is that he was, it’s probably the end of the issue.”