Barnaby Joyce gave an emotional speech this week as he opened up on his younger brother’s death from lung cancer at the screening of a film advocating for the legalisation of medical marijuana. The former deputy prime minister launched into a passionate speech at the event, revealing the toll his sibling’s death took on him.
Joyce was attending a screening of documentary High as Mike on Thursday, reports The Daily Telegraph, when he told the crowd and campaigners that he could not join a panel discussion, because he “gets furious” at suggestions that the illegal substance is a “miracle elixir” for cancer patients.
The 52-year-old father-of-six then referenced his own brother’s death from lung cancer in 2018, and said: “I was there when my brother died, it kills you. It tears you apart.
“I don’t want someone saying there is some miracle elixir that we somehow missed. That is not the truth.”
Barnaby’s brother Tim Joyce tragically passed away in June last year following a battle with terminal lung cancer. His death was confirmed at the time by radio personality Alan Jones after the former Nationals leader was forced to pull out of their scheduled interview.
“Barnaby’s younger brother Tim died at the weekend,” Jones said at the time. “He said of his brother Tim, ‘he looked at the ceiling and said thank you God for giving me the experience of life. Then he faded out, and we said the rosary around him. He was such an innocent, loving boy.”
It’s been a tough few weeks for Joyce, who became a father for the sixth time in April when he welcomed his second son – named Thomas – with partner Vikki Campion. He made headlines earlier this month when he made an impassioned speech in parliament, slamming the recent push to decriminalise abortion in New South Wales.
“On the 1st of June, Vikki’s and my son Tom took his first breath. This was not the start of his life,” the former deputy prime minister explained. “The reality is he was part of this world for some time and was merely passing from one room to another.”
Joyce argued his son had rights long before he was born and no person, doctor or parliament, had the power to take that away.
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Weeks earlier he sparked debate across the country yet again when he claimed that, despite his hefty politicians salary, he was struggling to make ends meet, claiming he is forced to slaughter his own animals for meat and described a cup of coffee as a “big thrill”.
“I’m just saying these circumstances have made me more vastly attuned… it’s just a great exercise in humility going from deputy prime minister to watching every dollar you get.”