NEW England MP Barnaby Joyce has called on the federal government to overturn a ban on MP’s partners working in their office, saying it is “insane”.
Mr Joyce told Patricia Karvelas on ABC’s National Wrap that allowing partners to work together would help keep families together.
“Canberra’s a weird place. It's like a big old boarding school up on the hill ... Everyone travels from miles away to get there,” he said on the program.
"And we should be allowing partners, as much as possible, to be there as well.
“Otherwise you have this dichotomy, this dysfunctional dichotomy where you have one life in Canberra, another life at home.
“We should be making the changes to ensure that families stick together as much as possible.”
Weeks after his affair with former staffer Vikki Campion was exposed by the Daily Telegraph, the former deputy prime minister quit his leadership role in February.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had introduced the ban on ministers having sexual relations with their staff.
Mr Joyce said someone who qualified for a job should be able to do it despite their relationship.
“Politics is a family business which means you should allow family members to work in the business to make sure you can do the very best job for your electorate,” Mr Joyce said on ABC’s National Wrap.
“It’s insane. They [partner] will be a better contribution to that office than most other people.
“You should let your partner work in the office.”