One Nation's Malcolm Roberts keeps citizenship 'proof' close to his chest

Elias Hubbard
July 28, 2017

The TV appearance came as Senator Roberts faced mounting pressure to prove he is eligible under Section 44 of the Constitution - the same rule that saw the resignations of Greens senators Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlam and is now forcing Senator Matt Canavan to fight for his career in the High Court.

Also on Thursday, the Greens joined Senator Roberts and One Nation in calling for a parliamentary audit of all MPs' eligibility.

The senator has previously confirmed on social media that he was not an Indian citizen.

Labor MP Anthony Albanese said he was "confident" Labor had already done a thorough vetting of its own members. Two Greens senators resigned from parliament earlier this month after discovering they were dual citizens due to their birthplace, while former Turnbull government minister Matt Canavan stepped down from Cabinet this week saying his mother registered the Australian-born Queensland senator as an Italian citizen a decade ago, but did not tell him.

"On that basis, Kim Jong Un could make us all citizens of North Korea and we'd all have to resign", Mr Pyne told the Nine Network.

This is interpreted by the High Court of Australia as meaning that persons with dual citizenship are not permitted to run for office.

Uncertainty remains over the citizenship status of One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts and whether he was a dual national when he stood as a candidate in last year's federal election after he revealed last night that he only confirmed he was not a British citizen last December.

Senator Roberts, who was elected to represent Queensland in the Senate past year, did not receive confirmation he had renounced British citizenship until months after the federal election.

However, the Queensland senator insists he took all reasonable steps to renounce with the British consulate in the months prior to receiving the formal reply.

An adviser to One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts has threatened to report a journalist to police over his questions about the senator's citizenship.

He showed the documents showing he had renounced his British dual citizenship to host Paul Murray but did not release them to anyone else, claiming the "Twitterati" would manipulate them.

Senator Roberts told Sky news last night he fulfilled that requirement because he contacted British authorities in June past year - just before he nominated - to tell them he renounced his citizenship.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Scott Ludlam said he was surprised to learn of his dual citizenship Are there any other countries with similar restrictions for dual citizens?

He said he sent three emails to the British consulate asking if he was a British citizen from May 1, 2016.

He said he wrote three times to British authorities saying: "I believe I am not a British and just in case though, if I am, then I renounce it effective immediately".

He finally received the confirmation from British officials on December 5. Nominations for the 2016 election closed on June 9.

"I am a citizen only of Australia and therefore eligible to hold the position as Senator in the Australian parliament", he said on Facebook.

Senator Roberts said he finally got the reply "after a lot of badgering".

The constitution means he had to have renounced any other citizenship before he nominated.

Senator Roberts said he has received legal advice suggesting he would survive a High Court case.

"I only ever thought I was an Australian citizen, that's all I believed, that I am an Australian citizen only", he said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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