Jacqui Lambie to quit senate over dual citizenship

Cheryl Sanders
November 14, 2017

An independent Australian senator, who is British by descent, has become the eighth lawmaker to leave Parliament in recent months over a 116-year-old constitutional ban on dual nationals running for office that threatens to bring down the government.

Jacqui Lambie, an independent senator for the island state of Tasmania, confirmed that she is a dual United Kingdom citizen and that she will officially resign from parliament later on Tuesday.

Senator Lambie told Fairfax she sought urgent advice last week whether she holds dual citizenship.

Senator Lambie said she would "never" ask Devonport mayor Steve Martin, her replacement in a recount, to step aside and allow her return.

Lambie, who is also writing an autobiography and intends to run candidates in the Jacqui Lambie Network party at the next state election, said she would run again at the next federal election.

"I love my father to death and hope to not blame him for his. He has done nothing for which to apologise and he has been my strongest supporter, my loudest cheer squad and my closest advisor". "It's because of him that I'm here in the first place".

With several MPs still under a cloud, the agreed process is likely to trigger yet more referrals to the high court and potentially byelections beyond the two under way in New England and Bennelong.

Since then, the High Court has ruled five other lawmakers - including then Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce - were ineligible, and government Senator Stephen Parry and lower-house member John Alexander have resigned.

On Tuesday, she told Tasmanian radio station LAFM Launceston it was "quite clear" she held dual citizenship and said she would officially quit the Senate shortly after midday.

When questions were raised over her family history last week, the Senator said: "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, in the case of my father, as an infant".

The government and opposition strike a deal on politicians' citizenship.

It is understood the independent Senator has informed the Turnbull Government and Senate colleagues she may resign over the section 44 issue.

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