Barnaby Joyce to resign next week after Vikki Campion affair scandal and separate sexual harassment allegation

Tom Powell
Barnaby Joyce said an allegation of sexual harassment was the "straw that broke the camel's back": Getty Images

Australia’s deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce has said he will resign after an affair with his former staffer spiralled into a politically damaging saga.

Mr Joyce said he will step down on Monday as leader of the National party, the junior partner in Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's centre-right coalition.

He said at a news conference: “I will step down as the leader of the National Party and deputy leader of Australia.”

But he will remain MP for New England, ensuring Mr Turnbull's single-seat majority in the House of Representatives is maintained.

The deputy PM said he hoped resigning would end the coverage of his private life (Getty Images)

He called his decision the “circuit-breaker” with regard to press coverage of his personal life.

It comes after a new allegation of sexual harassment was made by an unidentified individual.

Mr Joyce said reading about the claim was "the straw that broke the camel's back".

The controversial politician previously resisted calls to resign after it was revealed he is expecting a baby with his former press secretary Vikki Campion.

The scandal has seen his private life picked apart in the Australian media, with pressure on his position growing by the day.

Across the world he is perhaps best known for threatening to kill Johnny Depp’s dogs in 2015, after the film star brought them into Australia illegally.