Malcolm Turnbull gloated about his happy marriage and offered relationship tips on national television just days after blasting his deputy for having an affair.
The Prime Minister’s own political marriage with his Nationals deputy Barnaby Joyce was already in disarray, after he chastised him for his affair with his pregnant former media adviser Vikki Campion.
As Mr Joyce was dealing with the breakdown of his 24-year marriage, his boss was on Sixty Minutes declaring he was still happily married to Lucy after 37 years.
‘We’re a team. I’ve always had a greater sense of Lucy and me than I do me,’ Mr Turnbull told interviewer Liz Hayes. ‘We are just a very tight team.’
Malcolm Turnbull gloated about his happy marriage to his wife of 37 years Lucy on Sixty Minutes
The Liberal PM was even giving advice to newlyweds as a Nine Network film crew followed him around in Hobart.
‘Keep loving each other,’ he said.
In an awkwardly timed interview, Mr Turnbull downplayed a suggestion the Liberal and National parties were headed for the divorce courts, as Mr Joyce’s affair with a 33-year-old woman strained the Coalition government’s political relations.
‘It’s frank. It’s a frank relationship,’ he said.
He doubled down on his comments about Joyce’s affair – which sparked the deputy to accuse him of ‘ripping the scab off’ and being ‘inept and harmful’.
‘Australians wanted to hear their prime minister’s heartfelt views about these events, they wanted to know what I felt about them,’ Mr Turnbull said.
‘They wanted to hear it from my lips but also from my heart.
‘Saying you’re speaking for 25 million people is a bit presumptuous, but I certainly felt that the values I expressed and the action I took, would have the overwhelming endorsement of Australians. I felt it was absolutely the right thing to do.’
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (left) has revealed the truth about his relationship with Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce (right)
Mr Turnbull will also give an insight on his relationship with Barnaby Joyce, 50, who had an affair with his pregnant staffer Vicky Campion, 33, (pictured)
Mr Joyce in December told parliament about his separation from his wife of 24 years.
The couple had four daughters together.
The Prime Minister and his deputy met in Sydney on Saturday to resolve their public spat about a new ministerial code banning ministers from having sex with their staff, which Mr Turnbull had consulted his wife about.
Mr Turnbull (pictured with Lucy Turnbull) told veteran journalist Liz Hayes their ‘secrets’ to a ‘good marriage’ while saying his relationship with Mr Joyce was ‘frank’
It comes after news broke this week that Mr Joyce and Ms Campion were expecting a baby in April (pictured together)
Mr Turnbull said on Thursday: ‘Barnaby made a shocking error of judgment in having an affair with a young woman working in his office’
On Thursday it was announced Mr Joyce would not take over as Acting Prime Minister during Mr Turnbull’s trip to the US next week.
Mr Turnbull said on Thursday the ministerial code of conduct had been rewritten and asked Mr Joyce to ‘consider his position’.
‘The real issue is the terrible hurt and humiliation that Barnaby, by his conduct, has visited on his wife, Natalie and their daughters and indeed, his new partner,’ Mr Turnbull told reporters in Canberra.
‘Barnaby made a shocking error of judgment in having an affair with a young woman working in his office.
‘He has set off a world of woe for those women and appalled all of us.’
The Prime Minister asked Mr Joyce on Thursday (pictured) to ‘consider his position’
The controversial deputy’s 24-year marriage ended with estranged wife Natalie (pictured together) late last year, which Mr Joyce announced in December
Mr Joyce responded in tit-for-tat style the following day.
‘In regards to comments by the Prime Minister yesterday at his press conference, I have to say that in many instances they caused further harm,’ Mr Joyce said.
‘I believe they were in many instances inept. And most definitely in many instances unnecessary.
‘All that is going to do is basically once more pull the scab off for everybody to have a look at.’
The Prime Minister cannot sack his deputy because it is up to the Nationals MPs to choose their leader under the coalition agreement.