Watch: Barnaby Joyce lashes out at Malcolm Turnbull as 'inept', refusing to resign as Australia's deputy PM

Barnaby Joyce has hit out at Malcolm Turnbull, labelling the prime minister's criticism of his affair as inept and unnecessary.

Mr Turnbull yesterday took aim at his deputy, saying he had made a shocking error of judgment by having a relationship with an ex-staffer.

"(The comments by Mr Turnbull) caused further harm. I believe they were in many instances inept, and most definitely in many instances unnecessary," Mr Joyce told reporters in Canberra on Friday.

The deputy prime minister used the media conference to again apologise to his family, political party and new partner for the hurt he has caused.

Mr Joyce said the new ministerial code of conduct announced by Mr Turnbull will create "immense fodder" for the media.

"It is the prime minister's code, we will support it, and we will do our best endeavours to see it through," Mr Joyce said.

"It goes without saying that this will create immense fodder for the good people in the media and it will obviously reverberate across all political parties."

Mr Turnbull earlier told reporters in Tasmania he had not spoken with Mr Joyce today, nor had he asked for his deputy's resignation.

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