One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts is refusing to provide documentary proof that he is not a British citizen as evidence emerged that he traveled as a child on a UK passport – despite previously claiming that he “never held any citizenship other than Australian”.
Two Greens senators resigned from parliament earlier this month after discovering they were dual citizens because of their birthplace, while former Turnbull government minister Matt Canavan stepped down from Cabinet this week saying his mother registered the 36-year-old Australian-born Queensland senator as an Italian citizen a decade ago, but did not tell him.
The Italian Embassy has him registered as an Italian citizen, but Canavan plans to contest the matter in the High Court.
Section 44 of the Constitution bars people with citizenship in a country other than Australia from standing for election.
Roberts was born in India to a Welsh father and last week said he’d checked with Indian authorities in 2014 who confirmed he was not dual national before going on to send a racist tweet about Indians.
Buzzfeed has found historical documents online that show Roberts traveled on a British passport as a small child and is listed on the Register Office’s register as a British national born overseas.
Several shipping logs list Roberts and his parents as British passengers in 1956, the year after he was born.
A spokesman for the senator told Fairfax Media that Roberts renounced “any” dual citizenship on June 6, 2016, just three days before nominations closed for last year’s election, which say the Queenslander win the second One Nation seat alongside his leader, Pauline Hanson.
Roberts has refused to provide any documents as proof that he renounced his British citizenship, despite claiming he has them. Instead he posted a statutory declaration on Facebook saying he can “confirm” he is neither a British nor Indian citizen.
Questioned about the contradiction between his claim that he “never held any citizenship other than Australian” and subsequently renouncing it last year, the senator’s office told Buzzfeed that he did not lie because he “is choosing to believe that he was never British”.
You can see the Buzzfeed documents here.