Crossbench senator Nick Xenophon has stepped down from the Senate

South Australian Federal Senator Nick Xenophon. Photo: Scott Barbour/ Getty Images.

Crossbench senator Nick Xenophon is resigning from the Australian Senate to return to state politics.

Xenophon plans to run in the South Australian seat of Hartley in the 2018 state election next March.

He joined the senate as an independent on an anti-gambling platform in 2008 after a decade in state politics. At the last federal election he formed the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) and the party won three senate seats.

He is expected to be replaced by an NXT candidate.

Xenophon has denied that his resignation is related to the High Court dual citizenship case.

In August, Xenophon became caught up in the dual citizenship debacle over the possibility he may be a British citizen due to his father’s nationality.

His father Theo was born in Cyprus, which was a British colony until 1960, and came to Australia a decade earlier on a British passport.

At the time, Australian-born Xenophon, leader of his eponymous three member NXT party, said he would not resign from the Senate if he is found to be a dual national.

The High Court will hand down its verdict next week.

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