‘I’m no saint’: Barnaby Joyce confirms split from wife

Newly reinstated Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has confirmed his separation from his wife.

He made surprise mention of his marital situation during today’s debate on the Same Sex Marriage Bill in the House of Representatives.

The newly re-elected member for New England, who married Natalie in 1993, was debating an amendment regarding religious freedoms.

He said: “I don’t come to this debate pretending to any form of a saint but I do believe the current definition of marriage has stood the test of time whether it’s (inaudible) fail, I acknowledge that obviously I acknowledge that I’m currently separated so that’s on the record.”

Mr Joyce has maintained during the SSM campaign that he personally believes in the view that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

But he said he understood the will of the people of Australia to change the legislation.

The Nationals leader, who was born in Tamworth, but was booted out of parliament because he was a dual citizen of New Zealand, returned to parliamentary life in Canberra only this morning.

He attacked opposition leader Bill Shorten over the citizenship row on the TODAY Show, accusing him of “making fools of the whole nation”.

He fired off after Labor senators David Feeney and Katy Gallagher were yesterday referred to the High Court over doubts about their citizenship.