Pictures have emerged of Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce looking relaxed with his now reportedly pregnant former staffer Vikki Campion in a Sydney bar.
In several of the photographs taken last year Ms Campion looks comfortable with Mr Joyce, who revealed in December he had split from his wife.
Witnesses said the pair appeared to be relaxed with each other inside the Different Drummer bar at Glebe in Sydney’s inner-west.
On Wednesday it was reported on Wednesday that Ms Campion, 33, is pregnant with Mr Joyce’s child, two months after the 50-year-old formally announced he was separated from his wife of 24 years.
A smiling Vikki Campion looks up at her former boss Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce, last year
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and former staffer Vikki Campion at a bar in Glebe
Mr Joyce, 50, is rumoured to be expecting a child with his former media advisor Vikki Campion, 33, (together) who he has reportedly fallen ‘madly in love’ with
Mr Joyce has fallen ‘madly in love’ with his former media adviser, according to The Daily Telegraph.
While Mr Joyce has previously announced his separation from wife Natalie, he is yet to make a public statement about the rumoured pregnancy.
Mr Joyce and Natalie have four daughters, aged in their late teens and early 20s, from their 24-year marriage.
The new couple have moved in together ahead of the birth of their child in April, the publication reported.
A friend of the Deputy Prime Minister said the pregnancy was shrouded in secrecy because he was concerned about the well-being of his daughters.
Witnesses who saw Barnaby Joyce and Vikki Campion together described them as relaxed
Vikki Campion is rumoured to be pregnant to former boss Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce
Ms Campion (pictured) worked as Mr Joyce’s media advisor before she moved into a more senior role with Resources Minister Matt Canavan in April last year
‘He has been struggling with the family breakup, it’s put an enormous pressure on him,’ a source told the publication.
‘He’s had some pretty dark times.’
Ms Campion worked as Mr Joyce’s media advisor before she moved into a more senior role with Resources Minister Matt Canavan in April last year.
She later worked for Nationals chief parliamentary Whip Damian Drum but was left without a job when Mr Drum changed roles and became Assistant Minister to Deputy Prime Minister Joyce.
Mr Joyce, who was born in Tamworth, acknowledged he was separated and said he was ‘not a saint’ in a parliamentary admission last year.
‘I do support the current definition of marriage as it stands,’ he said in the lead up to the same-sex marriage vote on December 7.
Vikki Campion and Barnaby Joyce looked relaxed in each other’s company at this bar last year
Patrons at the Different Drummer thought the now reportedly happy couple looked relaxed
Mr Joyce, the Minister for Agriculture, has not been seen publicly with his wife Natalie since the Canberra Press Gallery Mid-Winter Ball in June last year
Mr Joyce (pictured, centre) and Natalie (pictured, left) have four daughters, aged in their late teens and early 20s, from their 24-year marriage
‘It is a special relationship between a man and a woman, predominantly for the purpose of bringing children into the world.
‘I don’t come to this debate pretending to be any form of saint, but I do believe in the current definition of marriage, which has stood the test of time.
‘I acknowledge that I’m currently separated, so that’s on the record.’
Mr Joyce, a Catholic and outspoken economic and social conservative, said he would ‘never vote against the view of the Australian people’ before he abstained from the final vote on December 7.
Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the National Party Barnaby Joyce, at coffee with his wife Natalie and dog Missty
Barnaby Joyce celebrates at The Nationals Party at West Tamworth Leagues Club in Tamworth on Saturday, December 2, 2017
Mr Joyce’s wife Natalie has not been seen publicly with the Deputy Prime Minister since the Canberra Press Gallery Mid-Winter Ball in June last year.
The Leader of The Nationals was forced to resign from his position as Deputy Prime Minister in August last year, amid a dual citizenship saga which embroiled Parliament.
The government lost its majority in the lower house after the High Court ruled he was ineligible to sit due to his dual New Zealand citizenship.
Mr Joyce, who has since renounced his New Zealand citizenship, comfortably won the New England by-election on December 2, and resumed his cabinet posts the same day.
Barnaby Joyce (pictured) the speaks to the media after winning the New England by-election