POLITICS

Dual Citizenship Drama: Nick Xenophon Refers His Election To High Court

The South Australian Senator has a form of British citizenship.

18/08/2017 11:00 AM AEST | Updated 19/08/2017 1:07 PM AEST

South Australian senator Nick Xenophon is the latest member of Parliament entangled in the ever-growing citizenship crisis engulfing federal politics, confirming that he is a British overseas citizen by descent.

Xenophon, who just three days ago joked that he was not a Greek citizen, said this week he was getting advice as to whether he may be a UK citizen by descent.

On Saturday, the senator, whose father came to Australia in 1951 from the then British territory of Cyprus, confirmed he inherited British citizenship through his dad.

Xenophon said he had received advice his father's background makes him a British overseas citizen by descent. This mean he is potentially ineligible to sit in federal parliament.

"The circumstances of this are bizarre and rare," he told reporters in Adelaide.

Earlier this week, Xenophon told Fairfax Media that he was working to clarify the issue.

"All I can do is check and release whatever I get," he told Fairfax.

"Whatever happens, happens."

Xenophon has previously said he would not step down from the Senate until the High Court ruled on his case.

"It has to go to the High Court," Xenophon said this week.

"You let it go to the High Court, that is what you do. That is the appropriate thing to do, I think."

Just this week, Xenophon pulled a stunt with Labor Senator Sam Dastyari, joking that they were not citizens of Greece or Iran, as has been alleged by some during the constitutional embroglio.

Xenophon's received Greek citizenship from his mother, but he formally renounced that before entering politics.

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