Barnaby Joyce sits in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, October 25, 2017. The poll also showed two-thirds of voters believe Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce should resign as Nationals leader, while Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's own approval ratings have declined.
"The general rule I always observed was that one party doesn't give another party public advice", Mr Abbott told reporters in Melbourne. "I know there was great excitement in the media that there was some Coalition clash, there are no issues between the Liberal and National parties, at all".
On Thursday evening, Mr Turnbull used a press conference to pass moral judgment on Mr Joyce over his affair with Ms Campion, saying he had "appalled all of us".
Joyce hit back on Friday, saying the prime minister's "inept" comments had caused further harm. "At the moment, Barnaby Joyce has the support of the National Party", he said.
"If a member of parliament has something to say to another member of parliament he or she should knock on the door or pick up the phone".
The ban attracted global headlines but more damaging for the Australian government is the war of words between the coalition partners. Joyce leads the rural-based National Party, the junior partner in the centre-right government led by Turnbull's Liberal Party, a political alliance that has existed since 1923.
Many agree with Joyce that his marriage breakdown and his current relationship with Vikki Campion are private matters.
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The revelations have damaged father-of-four Joyce's credibility as a family man and he's also facing claims he allowed Ms Campion to work in his and another ministerial office during the affair - potentially breaching the ministerial code of conduct. Finance Minister Mathias Cormann will now be acting leader.
Ministers must not have sexual relations with staff regardless of whether they were married or single, he said.
Joyce warned that any pressure on the Nationals to dump him "locks people in as they lock-in behind the leader".
When asked if Turnbull would have sacked Joyce had he had the power, Turnbull said, "He is the leader of the (Australian) National Party, they choose their leaders".
"He is having a week off and then we'll have our party room meeting Monday after next and we will see", she said.
LNP MP Luke Howarth insisted "everyone is expendable ... the National Party is bigger than Barnaby Joyce". In a world of corporate banality and predictability, The Echo has worked hard for more than 30 years to help keep Byron and the north coast unique with quality local journalism and creative ideas.
The news about the secret push to oust Mr Joyce - who is now on a week of leave - comes after Malcolm Turnbull met with his deputy in an effort quell a brewing coalition crisis.