POLITICS

Justice Minister Michael Keenan Named In Dual Citizenship Saga, Says He Renounced UK Nationality

He said being linked to the scandal was a "cheap grab".

17/08/2017 6:49 AM AEST | Updated 17/08/2017 8:17 AM AEST
Edgar Su / Reuters
Minister for Justice and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Counter-Terrorism Michael Keenan says he is solely an Australian citizen.

Justice Minister Michael Keenan has said he renounced his British dual citizenship in 2004, after media reports suggested he may have been the latest victim in the parliament citizenship debacle.

Keenan tweeted on Thursday morning that he did not hold citizenship of any country other than Australia.

However, he has not produced any paperwork and he and senior ministerial colleagues, Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton, are resisting calls for him to do so.

The Justice Minister's name is the latest to be linked to the section 44 saga, which has also ensnared Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, Greens MPs Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlam, Liberal Matt Canavan and One Nation's Malcolm Roberts.

Joyce, the second most senior politician in Australia, has had to renounce New Zealand citizenship, but the High Court is still to determine whether there is a breach of the Constitution, disqualifying him from holding office.

Fairfax media, which originally reported the story, said it had contacted Keenan's office repeatedly to only be told Keenan was an "Australian citizen".

Treasurer Scott Morrison told reporters in Canberra the Minister's tweets were enough, "I think Michael's dealt with the matter this morning. He actually dealt with it a long time ago."

UK consultancy firm and immigration experts Sable International was quoted by Fairfax as saying that because Keenan's father was born in the UK, he would have received British nationality "by descent".

Additionally, he would not have been required to renounce this British citizenship to be an Australian citizen.

Keenan said he formally renounced his UK citizenship in 2004, before entering parliament.

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