Senate President Stephen Parry caught up in citizenship scandal

03 November, 2017, 00:31 | Author: Ora Austin
  • Tasmanian Liberal Senator Stephen Parry is elected President of the Senate in 2014. Source Getty

Stephen Parry, a senator who is president of Australia's upper house, said he has contacted authorities in the United Kingdom to check if he holds dual citizenship because of his British-born father.

Parry said he had always regarded his father as Australian, particularly as he served in the Australian Army Reserve, but that he had now sought clarification from the British Home Office.

Look no further than the actions of senator Stephen Parry to understand why.

He presided over the Senate when six senators did the honourable thing and referred themselves to the High Court to rule on their eligibility and yet still he did nothing to clarify his own status.

If found to be a dual-citizen, Parry will become the eighth MP caught up in the citizenship scandal.

"With a heavy heart I inform you that I have received advice from the British Home Office that I am a British citizen by virtue of my father's birthplace", Mr Parry said.

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Parry has a British-born father and is the eighth Australian politician caught up in the debacle, which saw the High Court last Friday declare five of seven MPs, including Joyce, Nationals deputy leader Fiona Nash, One Nation's Malcolm Roberts, and former Greens senators Scott Ludlum and Larissa Waters were in breach of the Constitution when they stood for election a year ago.

The five included Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, the leader of the National Party, the junior partner in Liberal's ruling coalition.

Joyce has since relinquished his New Zealand citizenship and will re-contest his seat at a December 2 by-election.

"I think the situation ought be clarified for the integrity of the parliament in relation to other MPs - whether we do that by way of audit or some other mechanism, so be it", Senator Abetz said.

On Sunday, before Mr Parry's dual citizenship status was revealed, Attorney-General George Brandis said he had no knowledge of any others inside the government who could have dual citizenship concerns.

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