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Fact sheet

Fact Check: Is Labor's Susan Lamb a UK citizen?

Dual citizenship Liberal Party of Australia Parliamentarians

The dual citizenship crisis continues to haunt the Parliament into 2018. Speaking on radio, Leader of the House Christopher Pyne claimed Susan Lamb, the Member for Longman, was a UK citizen and therefore ineligible to sit in the House of Representatives. The Labor Party will not refer Ms Lamb to the High Court for consideration of her citizenship status unless the Government refers some of its MPs. So is Ms Lamb really a British citizen sitting in the Australian Parliament? And what does this mean? Mr Pyne's claim about Ms Lamb's citizenship status is a good call. Her own legal advice confirms that she obtained British citizenship by descent at birth. She applied to renounce her British citizenship before nominations for the 2016 election closed, but she did not enclose any evidence of her British citizenship with her application, as is required by the UK Home Office. After the election, she provided some documents, but her application was still rejected. On publicly available information, she has not sought a review of the Home Office decision or made a new renunciation application. There is no evidence that the British Secretary of State has registered a declaration of her renunciation, which the Australian High Court has described as "the moment at which British citizenship is lost". Whether or not in the circumstances her continuing status as an Australian and British dual citizen means she is ineligible to remain in Parliament is a matter for the High Court to decide.
Verdict: Good Call

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