Bill Shorten’s niggling byelection headache following Tim Hammond’s resignation last week has now developed into a full-blown migraine, after another uncompromising High Court ruling on Section 44 triggered mass layoffs in the House of Representatives yesterday.

The latest developments are a serious blow to the credibility of a leader who claimed last year that the government's "legitimacy and integrity" had been called into question by the Section 44 debacle, while boasting that his own party had been spared by its "strict vetting process".