Barnaby Joyce Responds to Labor Allegations He is Living ‘Rent-Free’ and is Breaching Ministerial Standards

Barnaby Joyce in Question Time in the House of Representatives.

Barnaby Joyce has had to defend living rent-free in an apartment in Armidale in his electorate in order to fend off a move from Labor to have him sacked as Deputy Prime Minister.

The Opposition accused Mr Joyce of breaching ministerial standards by asking for a place to live and receiving the gift, which is worth about $12,000.

Labor put a motion forward in Parliament for Mr Joyce to be sacked because it said the code means ministers “must not seek or encourage any form of gift in their personal capacity”.

The motion was defeated 73 votes to 70, but it prompted an extraordinary explanation of the specific personal circumstances from the Deputy Prime Minister.

Mr Joyce defended himself, saying he offered to pay for the rent on the apartment but his friend would not accept it.

He denied asking his friend, businessman Greg Maguire, for help and insisted Mr Maguire approached him.

More to come.