Dual citizenship crisis arises again: 4 MPs and 1 Senator resign

10 May 2018

Dual citizenship crisis arises again: 4 MPs and 1 Senator resign

Four federal MPs have announced their resignation following the High Court’s determination that Senator Katy Gallagher was ineligible for election to Parliament due to her dual citizenship status.

The ruling against the Labor Senator was made because she did not renounce her British citizenship before the nomination deadline for the 2016 federal election.

MPs Rebekha Sharkie (Mayo, South Australia), Josh Wilson (Fremantle, Western Australia), Susan Lamb (Longman, Queensland) and Justine Keay (Braddon, Tasmania), who are all from non-Government parties, resigned in the wake of the High Court’s decision.

Federal MP Susan Lamb made a tearful explanation in February explaining that she could not renounce her citizenship because she did not have a copy of her birth certificate, as she is estranged from her mother.

Ms Keay argued that she took all the necessary steps to renounce her British citizenship, but she has now accepted the High Court’s decision.

No Coalition MPs have been impacted by this High Court ruling, but the Opposition insists that questions remain about the eligibility of some Government MPs.

In the aftermath of the ruling, Opposition leader Bill Shorten announced that he was “deeply disappointed” by the loss of Ms Gallagher from the Senate.

Ms Gallagher made a statement today saying: “To have my place in the Senate end like this today is very deeply disappointing, but I believe that I have more to contribute to public life and I will take the time to talk with Labor Party members on how I can do this over the months ahead.”