Senate President Stephen Parry Fears He May Be A British Dual Citizen

Elias Hubbard
October 31, 2017

Although he was born in Tasmania, Senator Parry's father was British, so he could suffer the same fate as deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce and four other senators who were last week disqualified by the High Court.

Senator Parry is the first Liberal to be embroiled in the citizenship scandal and is on $348,320.

Senate President Stephen Parry has told the government he could be a British citizen and may need to resign his position, The Australian reports.

"In the event that I am found to hold British citizenship by virtue of my father's status, then I will clearly be in breach of Section 44 (1) of the Constitution and would therefore resign as President of the Senate".

Parry's delay in dealing with the issue will cause further embarrassment for Malcolm Turnbull's government, with the Prime Minister now in Israel and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop standing in as deputy PM because Joyce, the former deputy, is no longer in parliament, yet remains leader of the Nationals.

The 12-year veteran of federal parliament, who turns 57 on Tuesday, may hold United Kingdom citizenship by descent, despite being born in the Tasmanian town of Burnie.

Section 44 (i) of the constitution states dual nationals can not sit in the federal parliament.

Mr Parry now holds the highest position in the Australian Senate, which he could be forced to resign from if the UK's foreign office confirms he is a citizen.

Only Mr Canavan and South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon survived the challenge.

'This was the first opportunity to do so since the High Court ruling.

Senator Parry is Tasmanian-born but his father migrated from Britain as a child.

The constitution bans foreign nationals from sitting in parliament, and the High Court ruled ignorance of dual citizenship was not a defence. The British Home office has sought further details from me today, which I have provided, and I await a response.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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