Tuesday, 12 December, 2017

Jacqui Lambie may resign in next 24 hours over dual citizenship

File image File image
Kristopher Love | 14 November, 2017, 03:30

The dual citizenship crisis has claimed another federal politician - this time it's the Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie.

Lambie is the eighth member of Parliament to fall victim to the citizenship debacle.

Colourful Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie has been foreshadowing her departure from federal politics, telling Senate colleagues she is scrambling to check whether she is a British citizen by descent.

The unspeakable bloodshed from section 44 of the constitution continues unabated.

Lambie addressed the growing concern in a meeting on Monday, saying her home state of Tasmania would be "the first to know" should she resign.

'I'm happy to put on record that I'm satisfied that my parents are both Australian citizens and I have no concerns about me being a dual citizen because of where they were born or came from'.

It is understood the independent senator has informed the Turnbull government she may resign.

Rumours about Lambie's eligibility began to circulate last week when it was revealed her father was born in the United Kingdom, but kicked into gear when the Senate returned on Monday.

Devonport mayor Steve Martin is next in line to take Ms Lambie's seat in the Upper House, but Professor George Williams of the University of NSW told AAP his succession could be in doubt because of Mr Martin's role in local government.

Former Senate President Stephen Parry, One Nation's Malcolm Roberts, Greens Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters, and Nick Xenophon were all forced out after being found to be dual citizens.

The Liberal lower-house MP John Alexander resigned at the weekend, triggering a byelection in the Sydney seat of Bennelong.

The Government is keen to refer at least two Labor MPs - Justine Keay (from Tasmania) and Susan Lamb (from Queensland) - who were still British citizens when nominations for the 2016 election closed.

Meanwhile, Labor and the Coalition reached a deal requiring MPs to declare their parents' and grandparents' ancestry by December 1, in an attempted quasi-audit of MPs' citizenship.