There are growing calls for Barnaby Joyce to resign from parliament after he was found lying on his back near a gutter muttering profanities into his phone.
USA Online Post Australia has revealed exclusive video of the former deputy prime minister, 56, sprawled on the footpath at Lonsdale Street, in the Canberra suburb of Braddon, close to midnight last Wednesday.
According to sources, the Nationals front bencher was sitting on a large potted plant while having an animated phone conversation with his wife, Vikki Campion, when he fell down, ‘rolled around’ on the ground and continued with his call.
Aussies demanded that Mr Joyce hand in his resignation after the embarrassment.
Mr Joyce (pictured) was found lying on his back near a gutter muttering swear words into his phone
Barnaby Joyce (right) and Vikki Campion (left) are pictured at their wedding at the Joyce farm in Woolbrook
“He takes Australians for granted and he needs to have some dignity and resign,” wrote one.
Another added: ‘But we all know he won’t resign because he’s a greedy grub.’
A third wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, that ‘this is totally unacceptable and allowing this to continue only enables his appalling behaviour’.
‘What other public employer would condone this farce. Thanks,” they wrote.
Others mentioned what they saw as parallels to a famous Australian comic character.
“I don’t think Barry Humphries ever intended for people to emulate his character Sir Les Patterson,” wrote one.
‘Barnaby Joyce, you are a disgrace. thank’.
Many people tried to show some sympathy for Mr Joyce, while also saying he should leave politics.
“Has Barnaby Joyce offered to resign and get help yet,” asked one.
Another said his coalition colleagues ‘enable his behaviour. This man cannot hold elected office he should resign and seek help. Show some self respect @Barnaby_Joyce.’
Hi colleagues have expressed concern about his health, with Opposition Treasury spokesman Angus Taylor saying Mr Joyce’s welfare must be the top priority.
“Look, people like to jump to conclusions about these things and I certainly don’t and I don’t think anyone should,” he told ABC’s Insiders on Sunday morning.
‘I think the primary issue for us is Barnaby’s welfare and we will – we will remain focused on that. I will definitely stay focused on that.
“He was clearly not (OK) at that point.”
Mr Joyce, who is the opposition veterans’ spokesman, dismissed the video as an ’embarrassment’ and said he fell over a planter after walking home from a late-night parliamentary function.
“I walked back to my accommodation after Parliament rose at 10pm,” he said.
‘While I was sitting on the phone on the edge of a planter box, I fell over, kept talking on the phone and very animatedly referred to myself for falling over.
“I got up and walked home.”
Barnaby Joyce is pictured with his wife Vikki Campion on Tuesday – the day before the scene in Lonsdale Street
Barnaby Joyce featured on the Bolt Report on Thursday, the day after his ’embarrassing’ phone call on the footpath
A fake memorial plaque (pictured) appeared at the spot where Barnaby Joyce fell last Wednesday night
But to add to that embarrassment, a fake memorial plaque appeared over the weekend at the spot where he fell.
The artist was in such a hurry that they got the date wrong and said it happened in January, rather than February.
One resident who saw it told USA Online Post Australia that ‘It’s pretty hilarious. Everyone stops and laughs.
“It’s taped up, so it’ll be there for a while.”
Even if it is the cause of some laughter for the public, the government was careful not to be seen to take advantage of the situation.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers said it was a matter for the opposition, but called on Mr Joyce to explain his behavior to the public.
‘I know people will have fun with it, but from a personal point of view – I don’t like to see anyone in that state. I find it a bit disturbing,’ Dr Chalmers told Sky News on Sunday.
Peter Campion (pictured left with Barnaby Joyce) said he was disgusted by the way his son-in-law had been treated
‘I’m not going to take shots at Barnaby over that. He has to explain it.’
Peter Campion, father of Mr Joyce’s wife Vikki Campion, said the former deputy prime minister had received a devastating message shortly before the incident.
“He had very bad family news that day,” Mr. Campion told USA Online Post Australia on Saturday.
‘He’s already lost a brother to cancer, that’s where you have to start. He had some very bad similar news, unknown to me, but of the same scale and it affected him deeply.
‘As my daughter said, he was in a very, very bad place and was deeply depressed.
‘Any decent person who comes across someone in that position, so sad that they collapse on the footpath, will stop and help, not just take a video clip and sell it to the media.
“The biggest part of this story wasn’t Barnaby being an emotional wreck on the footpath, it’s the lack of care from his countrymen, his fellow Australians.”