Five Australian MPs ousted over dual citizenship

Katy Gallagher has been ruled ineligible for parliament

Katy Gallagher has been ruled ineligible for parliament

The latest twist in the saga brings to 14 the number of parliamentarians who have resigned or been ruled ineligible since mid-2017, when renewed scrutiny on a constitutional clause set politicians scrambling to prove they only had Australian citizenship.

The court found that opposition Senator Katy Gallagher was a British citizen at the time of her election, despite her attempts to renounce it, and ineligible for office, the ABC said. The High Court in Canberra unanimously ruled that the senator should have been disqualified from running and said she was not eligible to hold her seat.

Gallagher and lower house MPs Justine Keay, Josh Wilson and Susan Lamb are members of the opposition Labor party.

Australian Attorney General Christian Porter stressed that the ineligible lawmakers should have quit in October, when the High Court ruled that dual nationals could only be elected if a foreign law made it insurmountable to renounce a second citizenship.

Like Ms Gallagher, who was born in Ecuador to British parents, the four had begun applying to British authorities to renounce their citizenship but the process was not completed before the election.

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However, the Home Office didn't register that she was no longer a British citizen until August.

Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek to AM this morning that Labor's guarantee a year ago was correct at the time; but the High Court has created a newer, stricter precedent with the Gallagher case.

"On the other hand, if Labor was to win with an increased majority, that would be a sign that there's a problem for the government", he said.

Labor leader Bill Shorten has been accused of "lying" to the Australian people over the dual citizenship fiasco.

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