Aussie Senate president caught up in parliamentary citizenship fiasco

President of the Senate Stephen Parry believes he is a British citizen

The British Home Office has confirmed that Australian Senate President and Stephen Parry is a United Kingdom citizen, forcing the Tasmanian Liberal to resign from Parliament because he is in breach of Section 44 of the Constitution.

Just days after Australia's High Court ruled that five members of federal parliament were ineligible to serve for breaching the Australian constitution's dual citizenship laws, the federal parliament's Senate President Stephen Parry has declared that he may also be a dual citizen.

The Australian reports the Tasmanian Senator has asked authorities in London to check if he holds dual citizenship, and is waiting for a reply.

Section 44 of Australia's constitution expressly bans MPs from being "a subject or citizen of a foreign power" - but numerous nation's politicians appeared to be unaware of the requirement.

The High Court on Friday disqualified five lawmakers from sitting in Parliament on the grounds that they were citizens of both Australia and another country, a breach of the clause that only came to light in July.

Although most lawmakers in multi-cultural Australia have been checking into their citizenship status since the crisis erupted, Parry said he had only examined his own case after the High Court's decision on Friday.

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"He called me on Monday to say that he had sought advice from the British Home Office and had advised the Attorney General of this".

Look no further than the actions of senator Stephen Parry to understand why. Joyce has renounced the New Zealand citizenship he inherited from his father but still must win a by-election if he wants to return to his seat.

Parry will become the third government member to lose their job over dual citizenship, following the disqualifications of Barnaby Joyce and regional development minister Fiona Nash.

Speaking to Sky News on Tuesday evening, Trade Minister Steven Ciobo said it would be a "silly idea".

Parry quoted former US president Abraham Lincoln who said in 1864, "I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me".

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