Senate boss quits parliament over United Kingdom ties

Tasmanian Liberal Senator Stephen Parry is elected President of the Senate in 2014. Source Getty

Tasmanian Liberal Senator Stephen Parry is elected President of the Senate in 2014. Source Getty

Current president Stephen Parry's position is under a cloud due to possible dual citizenship, and he has vowed to resign if the United Kingdom confirms he is a British citizen.

Mr Parry inherited British citizenship from his father.

'I'm disappointed Senator Parry didn't make public this issue quite some time ago, ' Mr Turnbull told reporters in Jersualem. He would be the latest lawmaker found to have breached of an obscure clause in the nation's constitution that bans lawmakers from holding dual citizenship.

Last week, the High Court found five parliamentarians were illegally elected a year ago, including the country's deputy prime minister, Barnaby Joyce, whose ineligibility has put the coalition government's one-seat majority in the Lower House under threat.

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

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

"The onus is on all senators and members to satisfy themselves of their circumstances and I encouraged Senator Parry to do so".

"(An audit is) one of these things that sounds great, but writing to every country on the planet and asking 'is there some way I'm a citizen of your country through some form of linear descent?' is a bit silly", he said.

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Liberal member Craig Kelly said election authorities should conduct a full audit of everyone's record and Richard Di Natale, leader of the minority Greens party, supported the move saying "we're entering constitutional crisis territory here".

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.

Rather than 'fess up and refer himself for adjudication, he took the cowardly path of sitting back and letting his Senate colleagues take the heat, while crossing his fingers the High Court would clear them.

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