It was his last day in no man’s land, along with the Coalition’s one-seat majority, before the high court rules on citizenship

Amid the clutter and contention of Thursday, the besieged federal employment minister, the outrage echoing around the parliament – sat Barnaby Joyce in question time, a small island unto himself.

As Labor built a case that Michaelia Cash must resign if Westminster conventions were to have any meaning, Joyce worked his way through folders of paper, ticking and flicking. When he wasn’t doing that, the deputy prime minister checked his phone, swiping and scrolling.

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