The questions Barnaby Joyce faces

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Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is perhaps best known for the Pistol and Boo affair - when he threatened actor Johnny Depp with perjury over bringing his dogs into the country illegally.

"I think we know that the real issue is the awful hurt and humiliation that Barnaby by his conduct has visited on his wife Natalie and their daughters, and indeed his new partner", Mr Turnbull said.

"Barnaby made a shocking error of judgement in having an affair with a young woman working in his office", he said.

"Ministers, regardless of whether they are married or single, must not engage in sexual relations with staff".

"It is not acceptable for a minister to have a sexual relationship with somebody who works for them".

Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull has said he will prohibit sex between ministers and their staff, after it was revealed his deputy had an affair with a former staffer.

But it's a very different type of affair which is now engulfing the Deputy PM and leader of the Nationals Party.Joyce announced the break up of his marriage late previous year, and just last week it was revealed that he's living with a former staffer who is expecting his child in April.

On Tuesday, Mr Joyce publicly apologised to all six for what he called a "searing personal experience".

Mr Turnbull announced in a press conference he had urged Joyce to take leave next week to reflect.

Meanwhile, new figures show Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce clocked up more than $A227,000 in government aircraft flights in the first half of 2017.

Nine News reports that Finance Minister Mathias Cormann will be acting prime minister during the period.

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The position was to go to the Nationals Leader amid uproar over his marriage breakup and relationship with a pregnant former staff member, but instead he will now take a break.

He made a public apology to them on Tuesday and defended the two jobs, one for a minister, that Campion was given after she stopped working for him a year ago.

Though he has spent much of the past week offering remorse to his family, he has denied ministerial misconduct and refused to resign.

"It was at that time that Mr Maguire approached me, as did many other friends.to offer support", Mr Joyce said.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has rejected Labor claims he solicited the rent-free use of a townhouse from a businessman friend as he dealt with his marriage breakdown.

Barnaby Joyce in Question Time.

In another embarrassment for the government, the Senate voted 35 to 29 in favour of a motion calling on Mr Joyce to resign for "clearly breaching the standards required of ministers".

Mr Joyce said he would check details and return with an answer on notice, but Labor's shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfuss pressed further.

- Joyce says Campion was not his "partner" when she worked in his or Canavan's ministerial offices.

The opposition also asked about a $5,000 payment made by an agency under Joyce's then-agriculture portfolio to a Maguire business for a 2016 Agricultural Industry Advisory Council dinner at an Armidale hotel that the businessman owns.

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