ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

Opposition leader Peter Dutton has defended Barnaby Joyce’s right to disconnect and take time out of work to focus on personal issues as the Member for New England looks to take an extended break from his responsibilities in Canberra.

Last week, Mr Joyce was filmed by a member of the public clinging to consciousness while splayed out on a Canberra footpath. It was later revealed by Mr Joyce that he allegedly fell victim to a dangerous mix between his prescribed alcohol medication and some sort of other pharmacy drug.

Many of Mr Joyce’s hypocritical and sanctimonious colleagues were quick to pass judgement on his behaviour despite many of them engaging in the very same behaviour. However, Mr Joyce concedes that they do it in private, behind closed doors.

Speaking to The Advocate this morning, Mr Joyce said it was “extremely cowardly” of his Coalition partners to brand his behaviour “as a cry for help”.

“Ah look, mate, I, uh, just want to clear something up. I’m sound of mind and those telling journalists anything otherwise are just trying to white ant me, make sure I don’t come back to my rightful place as leader of the Nationals,” he said.

“You know, David Littleproud came into my office the other day and asked me how I was going, like we were two women chatting at the beauty salon. I said, ‘What the fuck do you want, you fucking dead cunt’ and David just did the most David thing ever and just chuckled to himself and said there was a lot of support out there for me and that I need to remember that everyone in the Nationals family wants me to get better and yada yada yada,”

“I’m just sitting there like, ‘Fuck off, mate, I’m not going through a mental health crisis. Fuck me, I just had a few schooners and perhaps a couple of reds over dinner and slipped off a planter box in Braddon. Now I’ve got every cunt from Paul Barry to Andrew Bolt putting shit on me. It’s bullshit.”

Mr Dutton told reporters this morning that Barnaby needs time to feel better.

“Everyone deserves some time off from work. Barnaby is no different. I think we need to support him through his latest episode and make sure he’s well rested and feeling good so he can keep delivery for the people of the New England like he has done all his life.”

More to come.


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