Being British is a wonderful thing and all British people should stand tall with their heads held high but for one man with big political ambitions, his British citizenship has become the stuff of nightmares. Sources say he even didn’t know that he is a British citizen, having automatically inherited it from his father.
South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon has been confirmed to have dual Australian-UK citizenship.
The crossbench senator and leader of the Nick Xenophon Team confirmed his dual nationality by way of his Cyprus-born father, making him a “British Overseas Citizen”.
Mr Xenophon confirmed he had received “oral advice” from the UK Home Office.
The senator said his situation was “bizarre and ironic” that he would be British as his father left Cyprus to escape British colonial rule.
After mounting speculation, Senator Xenophon confirmed on Friday he may hold dual citizenship, Australian and British, which would make him ineligible to sit in parliament.
“The great irony is my father left Cyprus in 1951 in order to get away from British occupation of Cyprus,” the senator said on Saturday.
He told The Australian newspaper the “suggestion that I could be a British citizen is something that would absolutely horrify my father.”
According to news reports, the senior politician was in tears when the UK Home Office broke the news to him that he was still considered a British citizen.
The senator will be referring himself to the High Court where he will join a number of fellow foreigners currently sitting in parliament.
The parliament has already referred senators Matt Canavan, Larissa Waters, Scott Ludlam and Malcolm Roberts, and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce to the court to determine whether they are disqualified under section 44 of the constitution, which bans dual nationals.
On Thursday night, just before the parliament rose for a two-week break, Nationals deputy leader Fiona Nash revealed she had been advised of British citizenship by descent.
But her referral to the court won’t occur until parliament returns on September 4.
– With AAP