Michaelia Cash forced to withdraw threat to reveal rumours about women in Shorten's office

Jobs Minister Michaelia Cash has been forced to withdraw her threat to name "every young woman" in Opposition Leader Bill Shorten's office about whom, she claims, "rumours abound".

Senator Cash made the threat during a tense Senate Estimates hearing in which Labor senator Doug Cameron repeatedly asked the Minister about her newly hired chief of staff and that person's employment record.

The Jobs Minister took issue with the line of questioning, arguing it was unusual to discuss "staff matters" and warned Senator Cameron he was going down a "dangerous path".

"If you want to start discussing staff matters, be very, very careful," she warned.

"If you want to go down that path today, I will do it."

Senator Cameron laughed off the threat and told Senator Cash to "settle down" and take "a chill pill", but the Jobs Minister became increasingly irate.

"Do you want to start naming them for Mr Shorten to come out and deny any of the rumours that have been circulating in this building now for many, many years?" she asked.

"[It's a] dangerous path to go down and you know it."

Senator Cash did not provide any details about the rumours, who they relate to, nor what they are about.

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