CANBERRA, Feb 23 (Bernama) -- Australia's deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce resigned on Friday just hours after accusations of sexual harassment against him were made public, reported China's Xinhua news agency.
Joyce announced he was stepping down as deputy PM of Australia. He has held the post since February 2016, a by-product of leading the National Party of Australia which is part of the governing Liberal National Party (LNP) coalition.
His resignation came the day after Larry Anthony, federal president of the Nationals, confirmed that Joyce was the subject of a sexual harassment complaint which would be "taken seriously" and treated with "strict confidentiality."
The complaint was the final nail in the coffin for Joyce who has been under intense pressure to resign since it was revealed that he had engaged in an extramarital affair with former media adviser Vikki Campion who is expecting their child in April.
"On Monday morning at the party room meeting I will step down as the leader of the National Party and Deputy Prime Minister of Australia," Joyce told reporters in his New South Wales (NSW) electorate of New England on Friday.
"I want to thank the people of New England. I am so humbled that today there were people who offered their support. I am so humbled and I thank you for the overwhelming support."
"Over the last half a month there has been a litany of allegations. I don\'t believe any of them have been sustained. I have asked that the (sexual harassment) allegation be referred to the police."
Since news of the affair broke, Joyce has been questioned over a series of promotions Campion earned within the National Party after her relationship with Joyce began.....