Australian DPM Barnaby Joyce's resignation may bring short-term relief for PM Turnbull

Old mate Barnaby Joyce (also known as the former leader of the Nationals Party and former Deputy Prime Minister) has announced that he's heading to the back bench after fronting media at a press conference in Armidale, NSW.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull issued a statement shortly after Joyce announced his decision, thanking him for being a "a fierce advocate for rural and regional Australia", BBC reported.

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has resigned following several weeks of sustained media coverage surrounding his extramarital affair.

Mr Broad said he had a resolution from his Nationals branch calling on Mr Joyce to resign and he would take those views to a party room meeting in Canberra on Monday.

Mr. Joyce, a populist from rural Australia and a crucial member of Parliament's governing coalition, had previously admitted to an affair with a former staffer, who is now pregnant.

"It's got to stop".

Joyce confirmed he would stay on as the member for New England, meaning he will spend his immediate future on the backbench.

He said media reports that an unidentified woman had made a sexual harassment complaint against him was the "straw that breaks the camel's back".

"Can I say right from the start, this is never about me".

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The National party's MPs will meet on Monday to vote for a new leader.

Last week Turnbull slammed Joyce for the "terrible hurt and humiliation" he had inflicted on his family and his new partner, saying his deputy had made "a shocking error of judgment" and "appalled all of us".

"All that's going to do is basically pull the scab off for everybody to have a look at", Joyce had told reporters.

The scandal fractured the ruling conservative government, with Mr Joyce publicly criticising the Prime Minister for "causing further harm" through comments about his affair.

The long-running sex scandal involving Mr Joyce's former staffer and now pregnant partner Vikki Campion has overshadowed Mr Turnbull's visit, where the Coalition is attempting to focus attention on issues of economic and national security.

He was forced out of Parliament a year ago and contested a byelection after discovering he was a dual New Zealand citizen and therefore had been constitutionally ineligible for election. So "I'll have other things on my mind".

But it appears the latest claim, which appears to have leaked from onside his party, became the tipping point that led to his decision.

Mr Turnbull is leading a delegation of Australian premiers, chief ministers and business executives with the aim of strengthening economic ties with the US.

The affair had brought an apparent rift between Turnbull and Joyce.

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