1 Nov 2017

Senate President to resign amid citizenship saga

7:20 pm on 1 November 2017

Australian Senate President Stephen Parry has said he will resign after confirming he is a UK dual citizen.

China's Premier Li Keqiang shakes hands the President of the Senate Stephen Parry (L) at Government House in Canberra on March 23, 2017.

Stephen Parry (left) shakes hands with China's Premier Li Keqiang at Canberra's Government House earlier this year. Photo: AFP

Mr Parry said in a statement that he believes he was wrongly elected because of his status.

On Friday, the High Court of Australia ruled that five politicians were invalidly elected under the constitution because they held dual citizenship.

Mr Parry inherited British citizenship from his father.

The senior government figure said he was making the announcement with "a heavy heart" after receiving confirmation from the British Home Office.

Mr Parry's role as Senate president is to preside over Australia's upper house, mirroring the role of the speaker in the lower House of Representatives.

A replacement for Mr Parry will be chosen through a recount of votes from last year's election. It is likely to be another member of the Liberals, the senior party in the governing coalition.

He becomes the third government member to lose his job over the saga, following the disqualification of Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and Regional Development Minister Fiona Nash.

Mr Joyce and Ms Nash were members of the Nationals, the junior coalition partner.


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