Outspoken Tasmanian independent senator Jacqui Lambie will resign from the Australian Senate today after confirming she is a dual UK-Australian citizen, because her father was born in Scotland.
Lambie, who first entered the senate in 2013 as a member of Clive Palmer’s Palmer United Party, left, and was re-elected as an independent senator last year.
The 46-year-old former Australian Army corporal confirmed she was a British citizen on Tasmanian radio this morning and says she’ll resign from the senate at noon today and will renounce her UK citizenship.
She also flagged plans for a return to politics in the lower house, targeting the Labor-held seat of Braddon, where the citizenship status of sitting MP Justine Keay is currently under a cloud.
“I’d certainly have a good look at it, I just have to see what else is going on,” she said.
Lambie said she didn’t believe she was a dual citizen believing the Palmer United Party had done all the necessary checks.
The outgoing senator said she doesn’t think section 44 of the Constitution, which forbids dual nationals from standing for election, will be changed, but believes it won’t be a problem in the future.
“There’ll be checking like there’s no tomorrow, so I don’t think this will be an issue,” she said.
Lambie is the second senator and third politician to resign since the High Court ruled Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce and four senators were ineligible to stand at last year’s election, forcing them from parliament.
Government backbencher John Alexander resigned on the weekend because he is a dual UK-Australian citizen, but he’ll contest a by-election for his old seat of Bennelong on December 16.
Barnaby Joyce is also recontesting his seat of New England in a by-election on December 2.
Yesterday the Turnbull government struck a deal with the Labor opposition to force all MPs and senators to reveal their citizenship status by December 1.
Both sides of politics have accused the other side of having MPs with questionable citizenship status and threatened to refer them to the High Court.
Lambie most notably campaigned for better treatment and support for Australian soldiers claiming the military had engaged in a series of cover-ups.
She also spoke openly about her son’s addiction to methamphetamine.