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‘An affair is not a reason for Gladys to lose her job’ says Vikki Champion

Gladys Berejiklian’s affair with a disgraced MP shouldn’t mean she loses her job, according to Vikki Campion who had her own very public affair with Barnaby Joyce.

But Ms Campion, who now has two children with the MP, warned if Ms Berejiklian mislead investigators in charge of handing out top secret clearances, there could be dire consequences. 

She was once at the centre of her own sex-scandal after it was revealed she was having an affair with the then-deputy prime minister in 2018 when she was working in his office as a staffer.

But before the story broke she was pregnant with his child, a small number of people in the highest echelons of the Australian security services already knew. 

Vikki Campion was once at the centre of her own sex-scandal after it was revealed she was having an affair with Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce in 2018 (pictured together after the birth of their first son Sebastian)

Vikki Campion was once at the centre of her own sex-scandal after it was revealed she was having an affair with Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce in 2018 (pictured together after the birth of their first son Sebastian)

Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured right) has face mounting pressure after it was revealed she had a close personal relationship with disgraced former MP Daryl Maguire (pictured left)

Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured right) has face mounting pressure after it was revealed she had a close personal relationship with disgraced former MP Daryl Maguire (pictured left)

‘As someone who obtained a top-secret security clearance, I know you have to declare the kind of relationship the Premier had with the man who calls her ‘Glad’  because I did,’ Ms Campion wrote in the Daily Telegraph

Ms Berejiklian has faced mounting pressure after it was revealed at an ICAC hearing earlier this week, she had a ‘close personal relationship’ with disgraced former MP Daryl Maguire.

But Ms Campion has raised the issue of whether Ms Berejiklian informed security officials about her romance.  

Politicians in prominent positions, as well as civil servants, are grilled by spooks in what’s called a Negative Vetting Two interview – a ordeal that can take up to seven hours. 

Anyone working within high levels of public office with access to sensitive information must obtain the clearance before starting the job.

Every aspect of one’s personal and private life is vetted throughout the daunting process.

But it’s not about what a person has done, Ms Campion explained.

Instead, they focus on whether people with access to important state information could be the victims of blackmail or bribery by a foreign government, criminal groups or corrupt individuals.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured) appears dejected during a press conference at NSW Parliament House on October 14

Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured) appears dejected during a press conference at NSW Parliament House on October 14

How the Gladys Berejiklian and Daryl Maguire saga unfolded:

MARCH 2015: Ms Berejiklian and Mr Maguire begin a ‘close personal relationship’ around the time of the NSW election. Ms Berejiklian was the transport minister while Mr Maguire, a parliamentary secretary, was separated from his ex-wife.

APRIL 2, 2015: Ms Berejiklian appointed NSW treasurer after the coalition is re-elected.

JANUARY 23, 2017: Ms Berejiklian becomes NSW premier, replacing Mike Baird. Mr Maguire is retained as a parliamentary secretary in her government.

AUGUST 2017: Ms Berejiklian tells Mr Maguire she would like him to quit parliament at the 2019 election so the pair can go public with their relationship. Ms Berejiklian says Mr Maguire also wanted that.

SEPTEMBER 7, 2017: Ms Berejiklian is heard in a telephone intercept saying she ‘didn’t need to know about that bit’ as Mr Maguire discusses his financial interests at Badgerys Creek Airport, and a land deal which would net him a large windfall. A day earlier, Mr Maguire texted Ms Berejiklian that ‘we clinched the land deal’.

NOVEMBER 2017: Louise Waterhouse, a western Sydney landowner, twice emailed Ms Berejiklian after being given her private address by Mr Maguire. She requested help with rezoning changes around Badgerys Creek Airport that would benefit a parcel of her land. Ms Berejiklian did not respond.

JULY 13, 2018: Mr Maguire appears before ICAC, with evidence heard that he sought payments to help broker deals for property developers.

AUGUST 3, 2018: Mr Maguire resigns from the Berejiklian government at the behest of Ms Berejiklian and other frontbenchers, with Ms Berejiklian saying she is ‘pleased’ and ‘relieved’ but privately she remains in contact with Mr Maguire.

MARCH 23, 2019: The coalition retains government in the 2019 NSW election.

SEPTEMBER 13, 2020: Ms Berejiklian cuts off all contact with Mr Maguire and agrees to support an ICAC inquiry into his business interests.

OCTOBER 12, 2020: Ms Berejiklian’s relationship with Mr Maguire is revealed at ICAC.

Source: AAP 

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As well as work and financial history, sexual escapades and romantic relationships are also probed during the interview.

Ms Campion said she was shaking when they asked her ‘do you have a partner?’

She explained she had a close personal relationship with a government MP and that the investigator was ‘not surprised’.

That’s because Mr Joyce had already disclosed the relationship as part of his regular security screenings. 

‘An affair is not a reason for Gladys to lose her job. Politicians are not pastors and the history of politics shows they may take lovers like anyone else might, and it overwhelmingly has no detrimental bearing on the work they do in office,’ Campion wrote. 

Daily Mail Australia has contacted the Premier’s office to ask if Ms Berejiklian ever disclosed her love affair with the ex Wagga Wagga MP to security services.

In recent days the Premier has told reporters that as state leader, she has ‘passed security clearances that nobody else has to pass’. 

Ms Campion said she was shaking when investigators asked her 'do you have a partner?' (pictured with Mr Joyce and their son Sebastian)

 Ms Campion said she was shaking when investigators asked her ‘do you have a partner?’ (pictured with Mr Joyce and their son Sebastian)

HOW THE BARNABY JOYCE AFFAIR UNFOLDED

2016

May – Vikki Campion assists Barnaby Joyce’s election campaign as media adviser, having previously worked with NSW government ministers and News Corp

August – Campion joins Joyce’s staff. She splits with fiance John Bergin, three months before they were due to wed. Friendship develops between Joyce and Campion

December – Chief of staff Di Hallam reportedly seeks Joyce’s approval to have Campion transferred out of office. Hallam later quits to take up departmental role

2017

February – Campion is photographed in a Sydney bar with Joyce, as revealed by Daily Mail Australia

April – Barnaby’s wife Natalie reportedly confronts Campion in Tamworth. Campion goes to minister Matt Canavan office as adviser. Natalie and Barnaby seek to make marriage work

May – At New South Wales Nationals conference in Broken Hill colleagues describe Joyce as ‘a mess’

June – Natalie and Barnaby show up together at Canberra press gallery midwinter ball

July – Campion leaves her $191,000 job in Mr Canavan’s office after he quits frontbench over citizenship. She temporarily goes back to Joyce’s office

August – Campion moves to Damian Drum’s office in a social media adviser position specially created for her. He already has a media adviser. In this time she oversees just 50 posts to Facebook

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is reportedly reassured by Joyce the relationship with Campion is over. Drum says he was told the same thing. Former Joyce chief of staff Di Hallam takes up a senior position with the Inland Rail project

September – Natalie reportedly asks family friend, Catholic priest Father Frank Brennan, to counsel Joyce. Campion is seen managing Joyce media events at federal Nationals conference in Canberra

October – Campion reportedly takes stress leave. Writ issued for New England by-election after Joyce quits over dual citizenship

November – Natalie holidays in Bali with a daughter. Man in a pub in Inverell angers Joyce during election campaign by reportedly saying: ‘Say hello to your mistress’

December – Joyce wins by-election. Joyce tells parliament during same-sex marriage debate he is separated. Campion’s redundancy package is approved. They move into an Armidale property provided rent-free by businessman Greg Maguire

2018

January – Joyce and Campion holiday in north Queensland and NSW north coast

February – Joyce tells reporters Campion is now his partner. But denies she was his partner when she worked in Canavan’s office

March – Joyce casts doubt on the baby’s paternity, calling it a ‘grey area’ and claiming journalists never asked him if Ms Campion’s child was his 

April 16 – Sebastian Joyce born

May 8 – Baby boy seen for the first time

May 26 – Details emerge of Barnaby Joyce’s paid $150,000 interview

May 30 – Seven Network reveals Vikki Campion pressured to have abortion

June 5 – Joyce announces he intends to re-contest the seat of New England at the next election

June 21 – Natalie Joyce speaks out in a tell-all unpaid interview 

2019 

January 20 – Ms Campion and Mr Joyce announce they are expecting a second son

June – The couple welcome their Thomas Michael Timothy Joyce  

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