POLITICS

Liberal MP Julia Banks Cleared Of Dual Citizenship Concerns

It has been confirmed that she has never held Greek citizenship.

28/07/2017 8:13 PM AEST | Updated 28/07/2017 9:59 PM AEST

The Liberal Party can breathe a sigh of relief on Friday night after receiving confirmation from the Greek embassy that Federal MP Julia Banks has never held official Greek citizenship -- protecting her from a potential Constitutional breach that would see her disqualified from her Victorian seat of Chisholm.

Concerns were raised about the Liberal coalition's one-seat parliamentary majority on Friday after doubts surrounding Banks' citizenship history were publicised.

Both Banks and her mother were born in Australia, however her father was born in Greece and -- in accordance with Section 44 of the Constitution, a dual citizen is ineligible to be elected to parliament.

On Friday evening, a Liberal Party spokesperson told the ABC: "We have received confirmation from the Greek Embassy that according to records Julia Banks is not registered as a Greek citizen and also is not entitled as a Greek citizen."

The clearance comes in light of former Greens members Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters both resigning from their parliamentary positions due to citizenship concerns.

National Party senator Matt Canavan also stepped down from Malcolm Turnbull's cabinet over doubts about his citizenship, but remains holding his position in the parliament while awaiting a decision from the High Court.

The Greens' loss of both co-deputy leaders within the matter of four days -- Ludlam for his New Zealand citizenship, Waters for her Canadian citizenship, and also the government's loss of Canavan in order to resolve doubts over his Italian citizenship -- has now put the spotlight on MPs and Senators from multiple parties.

On Thursday, One Nation's Senator Malcolm Roberts appeared on Sky News' 'PM Live' to "put an end to the media circus" around his potential dual citizenship with the United Kingdom, but the interview conducted by host Paul Murray only raised further questions about whether he was once a British subject and when he technically renounced that status.

Roberts, from Queensland, was born in India to a Welsh father and Australian mother. With British citizenship potentially conferred upon him by virtue of his father being Welsh, and several media reports showing he had at one point travelled on British passports, the One Nation senator has been under mounting pressure to reveal the details of his past and release any documents relating to his citizenship.

Until Thursday, he had resisted, but finally he appeared to claim that his status was solid, and that he had received confirmation from British authorities that he was not a citizen -- although questions still remain over the timing of his renunciation letters and his eligibility in the parliament.

More On This Topic