Nationals colleagues weigh in on Joyce interview

IT WAS the interview that stopped a nation.

Former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce and his partner Vikki Campion spoke to Seven's Sunday Night about their son Sebastian and the affair that saw Mr Joyce relegated to the backbench.

Yesterday the Chronicle approached member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien and member for Hinkler Keith Pitt seeking their views on the interview, for which Mr Joyce and Ms Campion received $150,000.

The couple have said the money will go into trust for their son.

In a statement, Mr Pitt said he hadn't watched the interview.

When asked if he felt the interview was appropriate and whether receiving money for it was acceptable, he refused to weigh into the controversy.

"I don't believe it's in the best interests of an innocent child to provide additional commentary," he said.

Mr Pitt said the party had been progressing well under the leadership of Michael McCormack since Mr Joyce stepped down.

"Michael McCormack is doing a great job as Leader of the Nationals and Deputy Prime Minister by ensuring that regional Australia is a priority and important infrastructure projects are being funded and rolled out. He was recently in Hervey Bay and met with Mayor George Seymour and Councillor Denis Chapman to discuss future infrastructure projects in the region," he said.

During the interview, Mr Joyce and Ms Campion suggested people within The Nationals attempted to pressure her to abort their son.

"The National Party organisation has no knowledge of the issues raised on network Seven's Sunday Program," Ben Hindmarsh, National Party Federal Director, said.

Mr O'Brien said the issue of whether it was appropriate for the former National leader to accept payment were matters for Mr Joyce.

He described Mr McCormack as a "strong leader".

"I have a good relationship with Michael, he's come to Wide Bay three times recently, and I look forward to continue working him to benefit Wide Bay," Mr O'Brien said.

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