Another Australian lawmaker may be out in citizenship crisis

Saul Bowman
November 3, 2017

Stephen Parry, a senator who is president of Australia's upper house, said he has contacted authorities in the United Kingdom to check if he holds dual citizenship because of his British-born father.

With a heavy heart I inform you that I have received advice from the British Home Office that I am a British citizen by virtue of my father's birthplace, thereby being a dual citizen under the provisions of the Australian Constitution.

Look no further than the actions of senator Stephen Parry to understand why.

It means that Senator Parry is now the eighth person to be caught up in the scandal.

Five politicians including former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce were ruled ineligible by the High Court after the court ruled ignorance of their dual citizenship status was not an excuse.

Joyce, who has since renounced his New Zealand citizenship, will have to win a by-election in his seat of New England in order to return to parliament.

"I think it's incumbent upon all people in parliament that have concerns, that they're to state them".

"Now that the High Court's recent ruling has given absolute clarity to the meaning and application of section 44 (1) and as required by section 17 of the constitution, I will submit my resignation as both president of the Senate and as a senator for Tasmania to his excellency the Governor-General tomorrow", he wrote in a letter to senators on Wednesday.

Eric Abetz, a Liberal MP, said an audit would help to maintain public confidence in the integrity of the Parliament.

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.

Rather than 'fess up and refer himself for adjudication, he took the cowardly path of sitting back and letting his Senate colleagues take the heat, while crossing his fingers the High Court would clear them.

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