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Citizenship crisis: Lambie set to quit to Federal Parliament

FEDERAL Parliament will be left a little less rowdy today after outspoken Senator Jacqui Lambie has confirmed she is a dual citizen and intends to resign.

The Tasmanian representative will resign today after confirming she hold dual citizenship with the UK by descent.

Senator Lambie morning confirmed she received advice from the United Kingdom Home Office that she is a UK citizen by descent through her Scottish-born father.

Senator Lambie said she confirmed her dual citizenship status overnight after telling parliamentary colleagues yesterday that she would likely have to quit.

She said this morning that she "never thought" she had a problem with her citizenship, and that she believed her family had sorted it out in the past.

Speaking to a Tasmanian radio station, the emotional Senator said the dual citizenship saga was "such a shambles" and would not "end well".

But she vowed that "you can't keep a Lambie down" as she said she was considering running at the next federal election.

Questions were raised about Senator Lambie's citizenship status last week after Tasmanian media dug into her past and revealed her father had spent his first year in Scotland before moving to Australia as a toddler.

When questions were initially raised over her family history, 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."

But yesterday it became clear the Senator had concerns as it was circulated she had been telling Senate colleagues she was awaiting advice from UK authorities that could spell the end of her parliamentary career.

She told the Mercury newspaper: "If I am a dual citizen I will resign. If it is black and white there is no need to take it to the High Court, as simple as that."

Senator Lambie becomes the eighth parliamentarian forced out because of dual citizenship.

She entered parliament after the 2013 election representing Clive Palmer's now defunct party before quitting to sit as an independent the following year.

Unlike other dual citizens to fail their constitutional requirements, the independent may not be replaced by those beneath her on her 2016 election ticket. Devonport mayor Steve Martin is next in line, but Professor George Williams, from the University of NSW, said he could be in difficulty because of his local government position.

According to the constitutional expert, the High Court would need to decide if a local council position is an "office of profit under the Crown".

The next person on the ticket, Rob Waterman, is CEO of Rural Health Tasmania Rural Health Tasmania's annual report for 2017 said it received funding from several federal government programs run by the departments of health and social services.

Topics:  citizenship crisis editors picks general-seniors-news jacqui lambie


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