The so-called “Citizenship Seven” debacle has come to an end, with the High Court ruling that five MPs are ineligible due to holding dual citizenship – including Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce. Here’s what you need to know.
Today, the court handed down its verdict on the constitutional position of seven current and former MPs who were dual citizens – and found most of their arguments wanting. Senators Joyce, Roberts, Waters, Nash and Ludlam were all found ineligible. Only Matt Canavan and Nick Xenophon (who is leaving politics anyway) are eligible.
Joyce’s ineligibility is a significant blow to the government. The outcome has robbed the Coalition of its one seat majority in the House of Representatives, its deputy prime minister and its National Party parliamentary leader in one fell swoop. Joyce will now need to face the polls in a byelection later in the year.
After the ruling was handed down, Joyce said “I was always prepared for this outcome,” and “in my gut I thought this is the way it was going to go.” Which begs the question: why did he not resign from cabinet immediately after discovering his dual citizenship?
You can check out Fairfax’s rolling political coverage of the event over at SMH.