Culture

Jacqui Lambie Is A Dual Citizen And Will Resign From The Senate

Jacqui Lambie is the latest politician to fall victim to Section 44 of the Constitution. The Tasmanian senator announced this morning that she will resign from the Senate at midday after discovering she’s a dual citizen.

Lambie appears to have inherited Scottish citizenship from her father, who was born in Scotland before moving to Tasmania as a young boy.

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

But Lambie had dismissed concerns over her eligibility last week, telling Tasmania’s Examiner newspaper that she had “no concerns” over her eligibility to sit in Parliament.

“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,” she said.

But it looks like she was wrong. She confirmed on Tasmanian radio this morning that she will resign today. Her seat is likely to go to Devonport Mayor Steve Martin (probably not the actor?).

Lambie is the fifth Senator to resign over Section 44. 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. Another One Nation senator, Rod Culleton, and former Family First Senator Bob Day, both resigned under different S44 provisions.

In the House of Representatives, former deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and Liberal MP John Alexander have both been forced out. No Labor MPs have been forced to resign yet, but there is a cloud hanging over at least four MPs.

The government struck a deal to try to bring the citizenship crisis to a head with Labor today. All MPs will be forced to disclose their heritage before December 1. The deal could see several MPs resign from parliament, forcing by-elections in several seats, and potentially costing the Turnbull government its majority.

Fun times.

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