Rape allegation: Stop trial by politicians, says Joyce
Former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce has called for the end of politicising sex scandals as the cabinet minister at the heart of historical rape allegations prepares to make a public statement.
The cabinet minister at the centre of the allegations involving a 16-year-old girl in 1988 is expected to deny any wrongdoing today.
It comes hours after New South Wales police declared "case closed" on the matter. The MP will relinquish their anonymity to help clear their name.
The former leader of The Nationals, Mr Joyce, said that these matters should be investigated by an independent body rather than by political parties.
"There should be a process that takes it away from trial by politicians," he told 2GB's Ben Fordham.
"I imagine a proper process would involve the competent attributes of the person doing the investigations, like a former high court judge or something of that level. We are dealing with politicians who are supposed to be the authority in Australia."
The MP at the centre of the latest allegations will not stand down and plans to continue in their current role.
Senior sources in both Labor and the Coalition told The Daily Telegraph they expected the controversy to continue, with a photo of the pair around the time of their meeting revealed yesterday.
Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Tuesday that the Minister must now "out himself" in respect for his colleagues and the country.
However Mr Joyce said this type of commentary did not help the situation.
"That is example number one of how this sort of faux gravitas (impacts all parties involved) … you're not really helping the person you're also an article of the public recrimination of a person who you might have thought was an ally," he said.
Mr Joyce resigned as the leader of The Nationals after The Daily Telegraph revealed his affair with former staffer Vikki Campion.
Originally published as Rape allegation: Stop trial by politicians, says Joyce