Barnaby Joyce has been forced to defend the use of free accommodation, provided by a millionaire friend.
As the Opposition tried to move a motion in Parliament, calling on Malcolm Turnbull to sack his deputy, Mr Joyce denied breaching the Ministerial Code of Conduct.
He denied reports he had approached businessman Greg Maguire to use the apartment, after his marriage break down.
The Code stipulates, in part, that a minister "must not seek or encourage any form of gift in their personal capacity."
News Limited today claimed it was Mr Joyce who asked for the accommodation.
"This is an open and shut case," Shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen, told the House.
"He was found out. He thought he wouldn't be found out."
During heated debate, Mr Joyce said he'd done nothing wrong.
"I did not approach Mr Maguire for any help," he said.
"He made the approach to me when I was not a minister, not a member of Parliament."
The offer was made after Mr Joyce was kicked out of Parliament for being a dual New Zealand citizen.
"I offered to pay for it.
"As a friend, he would not take any money.
"I don't think I can be any more succinct than that."
He told the House Mr Maguire had rung, and said to him "you're living out of a suit case."
The six-month rent has been valued at $12,000.
While he said he wasn't compelled to declare the accommodation, he'd done so to be transparent.
Mr Joyce has been living in the Armidale apartment with former advisor, now pregnant partner, Vikki Campion.
He again spoke of his difficult marriage split, but told the Opposition, "if we start throwing stones then every person (in Parliament) will start to have questions asked of them".
The motion was defeated, but the Opposition will pursue the matter in Question Time.
Finance Minister, Matthias Cormann, backed his Coalition colleague, saying there'd been no breach.
Mr Joyce had earlier declared the Nationals "back in business" after staring down attempts by some of his MPs, to force him to resign.
"I've got the support of my party room," Mr Joyce said, as he arrived at Parliament House.
"We're back in business, working hard, doing what we're supposed to do."
Asked if he was confident he'll survive the scandal, Mr Joyce said: "Yes I am. Very confident."
There appeared a spring in the deputy prime minister's step, and he's no doubt a relieved man, after days of pressure to step down.
He'll be even more relieved, if he gets through this afternoon's final Question Time of the parliamentary fortnight, unscathed.
If he does, he'll be safe. For now.
His immediate future as Nationals Leader, and deputy Prime Minister was assured, with the intervention of party President, Larry Anthony, and messy plots to get him to stand down evaporated.
But the view among National Party MPs is Mr Joyce can't afford any more damaging revelations and embarrassment.
"It's been a difficult time, it's been an embarrassing time, nobody is denying that," Mr Anthony said.
"I think we need the heat of the storm to go out of this.
"It's a private matter but it's clearly been embarrassing for all of us.
"As president of the party we take these issues seriously. What the public want is for these guys to deliver, to represent the communities they represent. Try to keep their private lives private."
Within those comments is a warning in itself... it has to end.
And although Malcolm Turnbull insists Mr Joyce will step in as acting prime minister next week, some within the Nationals still question if their leader might take leave.
That wouldn't be a good look.
It would say to the public, he's not up to the job.
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