6 June, 2015. 18:34
CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | Contact
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and his sworn personal and political rival, Tony Windsor have spent the last 45 minutes ‘stinking on’ in the Tamworth Town Hall car park, it has been confirmed.
This breaking news comes via ABC North-West NSW, who were the first to clarify that tonight’s New England edition of Q&A has been pushed back by half an hour due to the unruly behaviour of both Federal candidates.
It is believed that ABC producers had spent the day attempting to organise two separate entrances for both Joyce and Windsor, however a last minute communication breakdown meant that both the Deputy Prime Minister and the independent candidate’s respective Landcruisers arrived simultaneously.
Earliest signs of unrest came in the shape of taunting from the Windsor camp, with the 65-year-old former Member for New England shouting from the passenger seat of his campaign car.
“Barnabbyyy… Come out to play-eh-ay!” was heard, before an array of car horns and doors slamming.
The Minister for Agriculture was then seen opening the boot of his Toyota, before opting against picking up the tyre iron underneath his daughter’s netball sportsbag.
“You wanna go, old man?” Mr Joyce was heard shouting before Windsor responded with “I’ve been waiting three years young fulla!” – the two were then seen sprinting towards each other before wrestling to the ground upon impact.
This is not the first time the two political rivals have expressed their personal dislike for one another, and as Joyce insisted while being ushered back into his car, it “won’t be the last of it”.
After the physical altercation, which lasted the better part of an hour, both men were seen puffing heavily while being dragged to opposite ends of the Town Hall car park by campaign directors. Mr Joyce has been admitted to Tamworth base hospital with several knuckle fractures, while Windsor is being treated for teeth lacerations to the right elbow in his hometown of Werris Creek.
ABC producers have confirmed that after the initial confrontation, both men agreed to ‘play nice’ and were willing to go ahead with tonight’s original broadcast timeline – until a second melee resulted in Q&A host, Tony Jones, being caught in the cross-fire of a local policemen’s capsicum spray.
According to Tony Jones, “Windsor had the scariest look in his eyes” and Mr Joyce’s skin turned a “dark shade of red”.
“Amongst the 45 minute stream of expletives, there was a lot of talk about Shenhua mine. There also seemed to be a recurring theme of religious tension between the Anglican Tony Windsor and his poorer, Catholic rival,” said Jones.
“They kept promising to behave themselves but the moment anyone turned their backs they were straight back into it,”
“I’m pretty sure Barnaby was concussed at some point,”
The time and location of a rematch has not yet been announced, but both camps say they would prefer that the public broadcaster was not present when it takes place.