Attorney-General George Brandis has launched a blistering attack on the "dribblings" of John Barilaro, berating the NSW deputy premier as an obscure "nobody".
Mr Barilaro was savaged by coalition colleagues on Friday, after telling Sydney's 2GB radio Malcolm Turnbull should resign as a "Christmas gift" to Australians.
Labor tried to capitalise on his extraordinary outburst in federal parliament on Monday.
But Senator Brandis - who is no stranger to rhetorical flourish - swatted the interrogations away with characteristic flair.
"The first time I'd even heard of Mr Barilaro was on Friday morning when he burst forth into lurid light courtesy of the Alan Jones radio program," Senator Brandis told parliament.
The attorney-general cautioned Labor senators against basing questions on "the dribblings of some obscure politician" who nobody outside NSW had heard of.
"It demonstrates the obscurity of Mr Barilaro that even though you're from NSW yourself, you find trouble pronouncing his name," Senator Brandis told Labor's Jenny McAllister.
"We've all heard the old saying free advice is worth what you pay for it. On this occasion, I think Mr Barilaro's musings are worth considerably less than that."
Mr Barilaro is standing by his comments but admits his relationship with the prime minister is "broken" following the open attack.
"My relationship with the prime minister is a broken relationship," he told reporters in Queanbeyan on Monday.
"I made some comments. Regardless of what everybody is saying about those comments, I made them, I own them."
Mr Barilaro's remarks forced NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to publicly distance herself from her deputy.
However, Mr Barilaro was adamant on Monday that he still had her support.
He said it was up to him to try and work through the problems he had with Mr Turnbull and rebuild a relationship with him.