Sharkie's future in doubt after latest High Court ruling

Sharkie's future in doubt after latest High Court ruling

Australia's High Court has ruled an 11th lawmaker must leave parliament after discovering she was a dual national, the Australian Broadcasting Corp reported on Wednesday, the latest casualty in a widening citizenship crisis.

Labor's John Wilson (WA), Justine Keay (TAS), and Susan Lamb (QLD) and the Centre Alliance's Rebekha Sharkie (SA) quit within hours of the judgement.

Gallagher was ineligible to sit because she had not completed the renunciation of her dual British citizenship when she nominated for the 2016 election.

Dates for the by-elections have not been set officially but could be as early as mid-June.

It means voters in four states will go to five byelections in the coming weeks following Labor MP Tim Hammond's decision to resign for family reasons last week.

Lamb said she meant to recontest her seat and Labor MPs Josh Wilson and Justine Keay, who also resigned on Wednesday, and independent member Rebekha Sharkie, said they would do likewise in their separate electorates.

Gallagher's seat in the Senate will be taken by David Smith, the second Labor candidate for the Australian Capital Territory.

"Based on the recent High Court judgement, I will now take urgent legal advice", Sharkie said in a statement on Wednesday morning.

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The government said that anyone who had questions over their dual citizenship should resign by the day's end.

"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.

While Wilson, Keay and Sharkie subsequently had their British citizenship revoked, Lamb remains a dual citizen because United Kingdom authorities insist she supply her parents' marriage certificate - her father has died and she is estranged from her mother - before her revocation can be processed, which makes it unclear how she can recontest her seat.

The High Court ruled Wednesday that Labor Party Senator Katy Gallagher was ineligible because she had not renounced her British citizenship prior to her election in 2016.

Porter said for Shorten to claim it was a reinterpretation was "talking absolute rubbish". Shorten said Labor would now consider the implications of the decision. But the Home Office didn't register that she was no longer British until August 16.

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

"It is quite clear that Great Britain does not provide an insurmountable obstacle for any person wishing to renounce their citizenship", Porter said.

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