Australia's deputy PM loses support of state branch over affair

Barnaby Joyce, Australia's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, speaks during a media conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia February 16, 2018. AAP/Lukas Coch/via REUTERS

Thomson Reuters

SYDNEY (Reuters) - A state branch of the Australian National Party has pulled its support for Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce because of reports about an extramarital affair with his former press secretary, the party's Western Australia leader said on Tuesday.

Joyce, the National Party's federal leader, has refused to resign since media said this month that he was expecting a child with his former staff member. He has maintained he has the support of his party.

"Mr Joyce's actions have caused pain for his family but it is the ongoing damage Mr Joyce is causing the Nationals' organization that is of greatest concern to me," Western Australia leader Mia Davies said in a statement.

(Reporting by Byron KayeEditing by Clarence Fernandez)

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