Barnaby Joyce to take personal leave, won’t be Acting PM

GONE FISHING: Barnaby Joyce will take the week off.
GONE FISHING: Barnaby Joyce will take the week off.

AS the media spotlight intensifies, Barnaby Joyce has announced he is taking a week of leave, starting from Monday.

He was due to step up as Acting Prime Minister, as Malcolm Turnbull travels to the United States.

Normally, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop would fill the position, as she did when Mr Joyce was forced to step down after the High Court ruled him ineligible to stand due to his New Zealand dual-citizenship.

However, she will be on pre-arranged leave. Instead, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann will fill the role.

A ReachTEL poll conducted by Fairfax Media found just under half, 45.3 per cent, of voters in the seat want Mr Joyce to remain as party leader and deputy PM.

But 26.7 per cent said Mr Joyce should move to the backbench, and another 20.5 per cent said he should quit Parliament altogether, with 7.5 per cent undecided.