Vikki Campion lands top job with maverick MP
VIKKI Campion - the woman who become Barnaby Joyce's love interest amid a high-stakes scandal - has been controversially hired by a maverick Federal MP.
New Deputy Speaker Llew O'Brien, who called a spill last month in a bid to return Mr Joyce as Nationals' Leader, will use Ms Campion to ramp up his media and profile in a bid to get better outcomes for the bush.
Ms Campion, who is Mr Joyce's partner and the mother of his two young boys, is highly-regarded in the Nationals for her cut-through media advice and social media experience.
While the hiring is being viewed as contentious among some, the overwhelming view has settled on the fact Ms Campion has an ability to navigate the political noise and connect with regional and rural voters.
A spokesman for Mr O'Brien said Ms Campion would start in the role when parliament resumed on March 23.
"It is expected that Ms Campion, a young mother of two young boys, will work for four hours a day during parliamentary sitting weeks to assist with administration and media,'' he said.
"Ms Campion is exceptionally well qualified for the role and Parliament House is a family friendly work environment, complete with a crèche.
"Ms Campion has worked for regional and national media outlets."
It is understood Mr O'Brien has a longstanding belief that working mothers should be given opportunities to get back into the workforce if they want too.
Ms Campion's hiring did not have to go through the wider Morrison Government vetting process because she had been hired as a casual.
Ms Campion also worked for former Cabinet Minister Matt Canavan and Victorian MP Damien Drum, the man who lost the deputy speakership to Mr O'Brien.
It is likely Mr O'Brien, a former police officer, will ramp up his advocacy for regional health and the road toll.
In 2017, Mr Joyce told parliament during the same-sex marriage debate that he has separated from his wife Natalie Joyce.
After their affair become public during a long-drawn out saga, Mr Joyce resigned from his position as deputy prime minister in February 2018.