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Barnaby Joyce's political future in doubt as talk of mutiny goes public

Barnaby Joyce's political future in doubt as talk of mutiny goes public

The report noted Mr Joyce flew with Ms Campion on three occasions, in February and April, at a cost to taxpayers of $9787.

Barnaby Joyce has been granted a temporary leadership reprieve after colleagues agreed to "let the dust settle" following a dramatic intervention by senior party figures led by Nationals president Larry Anthony.

Nationals President Larry Anthony, the party's most senior bureaucrat and a former legislator, arrived at Parliament House on Wednesday telling reporters he was helping lawmakers deal with "a very hard time".

"That is why I am down here today".

It was more a push than a out and out putsch but whatever it was called, the frenetic activity inside the Nationals that aimed to dislodge Barnaby Joyce this week has fizzled.

On Tuesday, Mr O'Dowd said he could replace Mr Joyce as the Deputy PM.

"I am not interested in talking about that, people get sick and exhausted of hearing about these internal games".

Overwhelmingly however, the Nationals have been supportive, with one of Mr Joyce's strongest allies David Littleproud today telling reporters any reports of a delegation of party members who approached Mr Joyce about his future were "speculation".

Michelle Landry, the member for Capricornia, also backed Joyce.

His former wife, Natalie Joyce, said her husband's former media adviser had been a welcome visitor to the family home.

"We've had a lot of conversations but that's between him and I", she said.

The Senate passed a motion shortly after Mr Joyce's announcement, calling on him to resign.

As far as she was concerned, "everything was above board with his office", referring to the questions raised about his travel arrangements.

"He is clearly the best retail politician they've got".

He has denied allegations that he had breached guidelines surrounding giving jobs to ministers' partners when Campion was given a promotion previous year to leave his office for another government job.

The prime minister reaffirmed his deputy would act for him while he visited the White House next week.

The clock is ticking on a resolution, with Malcolm Turnbull due to leave the country next week, which would make Joyce the acting prime minister - a development some hardheads regard as politically untenable.

If both the prime minister and deputy prime minister are unable to take Australia's reigns, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop would ordinarily be next in line.

"I am returning to Australia from Kuwait; I do have plans to be overseas next week - parliament is not sitting - if circumstances change then, of course, I would change plans".

"I heard there is going to be someone who goes across to see him", he said yesterday morning.

"It is stressful, marriage break-ups are very stressful things to go through and I think he is here to stay".