February 23, 2018 / 3:16 AM / 9 months ago

Australian deputy prime minister resigns from Cabinet, remains in parliament

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce sits in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, August 14, 2017. AAP/Mick Tsikas/via REUTERS/Files

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said on Friday he will resign as leader of his party and will move to the backbench after weeks of pressure over an extra-marital affair with his former media secretary.

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 will remain in parliament, safeguarding Turnbull’s shaky one-seat majority.

Joyce, a practising Catholic, has been married for 24 years and has campaigned on “family values”.

Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Paul Tait

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