Barnaby reveals name of second child
FORMER deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce has confirmed he and partner Vikki Campion are expecting their second child and revealed the name they plan to give the little boy when he's born in June.
Mr Joyce, who lost the deputy prime ministership and went into political freefall after last year's revelation that he was expecting a child with then-mistress Ms Campion, is understood to have broken the news to both the Joyce and Campion families, including his estranged wife Natalie and their four daughters, as well as party insiders.
Mr Joyce has also let slip the name the couple plan to give the baby boy at a recent fundraiser.
"We are actually having another child, Tom, so there you go," he told guests at the event while apologising for Ms Campion's absence.
The baby boy is believed to be due in June, when their first child, Sebastian, will be 14 months.
However the new pregnancy has reopened wounds for the family he left, with friends revealing his daughters were furious.
The family was spotted having a break on the NSW coast last week.
Ms Campion's baby bump was showing as she carried nine-month-old Sebastian on her hip as she strolled beside 51-year-old Mr Joyce.
The outing came just hours after the former deputy PM and fallen Nationals leader was seen wandering alone on the isolated stretch of beach.
A close friend of Mr Joyce's family, who spoke to the The Sunday Mail on condition of anonymity, revealed the new baby would be named to honour Mr Joyce's family, including his brother whose death last year left him shattered.
"Another boy is due in June this year," the friend said. "The name is already picked out - Thomas, after Barney's grandfather.
"They plan to include Timothy, Barney's youngest brother who sadly died last June after a brave battle with lung cancer. Tim was only 42 and has a gorgeous wife and three young children. His death really rocked Barney (as he is known to family and friends)," the friend said.
The new pregnancy is the latest twist in the saga that tore the Joyce family apart and led to then prime minister Malcolm Turnbull's infamous "bonking ban" outlawing relations between MPs and staff.
Sebastian's name attracted controversy, when Mr Joyce's estranged wife Natalie revealed it had been their favourite if they had a son.
The family friend said Mrs Joyce had picked up the pieces and had "never been stronger", but friends were "genuinely concerned for Barney" who was "all over the place".
"She's back working full time and spends every waking hour being the best mum she can for the girls,'' the friend said. "It has been a humiliating journey for the five of them but she's incredibly resilient."
The family friend said Mr Joyce had broken the news to Natalie and their daughters, and there was a belief among the family that his new partner eventually wanted to make a return to her role as a political adviser.
"Vikki wants Barney back in the top job. She's made no secret she also wants to be back working with Barney, which is likely why in December … he went public, again calling for the partner and spouse ban to be lifted," the friend said.
"There is a real concern he may take Vikki on the campaign trail, which could really backfire and be the last nail in his political career.
"It remains to be seen if rural communities continue to support him. In a perfect world, he should have his daughters campaigning alongside him, but that's not even close to happening."
Mr Joyce's parents are understood to have remained in contact with their granddaughters and Natalie.
"Thankfully they keep in touch with their granddaughters. The girls are rightly furious about their father's latest baby news,'' the friend said.
The Sunday Mail contacted Mr Joyce for comment. Mrs Joyce declined to comment.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten has publicly congratulated Barnaby Joyce on expecting a second baby, but said government "back biting about Barnaby Joyce" was proof the Coalition was divided and needed some time out of power.
"I congratulate Barnaby and his family," Mr Shorten said at Kings Beach on the Sunshine Coast for part of his Queensland battle bus tour.
"That is entirely a personal matter for them. I congratulate them.
"Whenever a child is to be born, it's good news.
"If anyone's out there complaining about Barnaby Joyce it just sounds like more instability in the Coalition.
"I don't make any judgment about their personal circumstances, I don't think a lot of Australians do.
"But what we see, it doesn't matter where it is in the current government, they just don't like each other.
"They really need some time in Opposition so they can get over themselves and get back to worrying about the Australian people."