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Australian politician admits ‘big mistake’ after being filmed writhing on footpath and swearing

Barnaby Joyce has admitted to making a ‘big mistake’ after he was filmed sprawled out in the middle of the street (Getty Images)
Barnaby Joyce has admitted to making a ‘big mistake’ after he was filmed sprawled out in the middle of the street (Getty Images)

An Australian politician has admitted to making a “big mistake” after he was filmed sprawled out in the middle of the street, swearing into his phone.

Barnaby Joyce, a Nationals Party MP and former deputy prime minister, was seen lying on a street in Canberra late at night slurring the words “dead f****** c***” while on a call to his wife.

The footage was originally published online by Daily Mail Australia.

Explaining the incident, Mr Joyce told morning television show Sunrise: “Look, obviously, I made a big mistake - there’s no excuse for it.

“There is a reason, and it was a very eventful walk home wasn’t it.

“I’m on a prescription drug, and they say certain things may happen to you if you drink, and they were absolutely 100 per cent right.”

He added: “I’m not looking for sympathy, I’m not looking for an excuse. I came back, I sat on a planter box, I fell off and I was videotaped. There you go. What else can you say?”

But he refused to be drawn on whether he should be punished by his party over the incident.

“That’s not my decision really, is it? I’m not going to enter into a long dialogue about what other people might want to do,” he said.

Nationals leader David Littleproud said he hoped Mr Joyce would return to work later in the week.

“This is something that he's deeply embarrassed about," Mr Littleproud told Sky News.

“He's made that very clear that this isn't normal behaviour that he undertakes and there are extenuating circumstances surrounding that and obviously, we will support him in making sure that, anything that he does need, he gets.”

Australia’s finance minister Katy Gallagher said the situation was “incredibly sad”.

“These things do nothing for the profession of politicians ... it confirms, in people's minds, the public's minds, negative association with politics, and I think that's a real shame,” she told ABC radio.

“But personally, I hope he gets the help he needs because it's a very unusual position for someone of that age to be in.”