Five Australian politicians resign in latest citizenship scandal

MALCOLM TURNBULL CAFE QUEANBEYAN VISIT

Ms Sharkie said it was clear the ruling applied to her circumstances, so she would stand aside and run for her Centre Alliance party at a by-election.

With Gallagher disqualified and now four more quitting their positions, there will be a total of five by-elections coming up.

Labor MPs Josh Wilson and Justine Keay, and independent member Rebekha Sharkie, who also resigned yesterday, said they would do likewise in their separate electorates.

Gallagher, a former ACT chief minister, will leave politics and be replaced by another candidate nominated by Labor after her argument to stay was rejected by the full bench of the High Court.

In a nation in which half the population were either born overseas or have parents who were, the dual citizenship rule has cut a swathe through the national parliament.

"Every opportunity I am given to ask the people of Fremantle to trust me with the responsibility of being their representative in the national parliament is an opportunity I will relish", he said.

Shorten said his party had relied on an older interpretation of Section 44 (a), a much-debated rule in the constitution, that says members of parliament can not continue to have citizenship in another country, and must prove they took "all reasonable steps" to renounce the other citizenship before being elected.

Lamb, who holds the highly marginal Queensland seat of Longman will have to renounce her British citizenship before she can recontest her seat.

Attorney-General Christian Porter declared the court had provided a "crisp and crystal-clear clarification" of the law.

Porter said for Shorten to claim it was a reinterpretation was "talking absolute rubbish".

Three Labor MPs and a minor party MP quit within hours, accepting that the case was a precedent because they had relied on the same defence of having taken "reasonable steps" to renounce their British citizenship before the election.

"Until today's decision the "reasonable steps" test had been accepted for more than 25 years", he said.

In the earlier stages of the citizenship crisis Shorten had been adamant that all Labor MPs had fulfilled the constitutional requirement on citizenship.

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