Federal Liberal MP John Alexander is the latest politician to be caught up in the dual citizenship saga, according to Adam Gartrell and Bevan Shields in Fairfax Media.
Alexander, who sits in John Howard’s old seat of Bennelong, may have a UK citizenship given that his father, Gilbert Alexander, was born over there and may have conferred citizenship to his son.
Alexander told Fairfax that he has never renounced a foreign citizenship before entering parliament, and cannot definitively say that his father did prior to his birth.
As such, he may be ineligible to serve in parliament under section 44 of the constitution — the same clause that ruled out deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce and four others.
"He (Alexander) believes his dad renounced his UK citizenship in the 41 years he lived in Australian before John was born,” a spokesman for Alexander told Fairfax.
“But of course he will fully participate in the process that the PM has just announced today.”
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull today announced a system whereby MPs have to declare their citizenship history.
Alexander’s office’s claim that his father renounced is complicated by the fact that Australian citizenship only came into being as a concept in 1949 — two years before John Alexander’s birth.
As such, Gilbert had only that two year window to renounce his UK citizenship.
Gilbert Alexander was born in Essex, England in 1907.
Under the British Nationality Act 1948, people born to British citizens are automatically given citizenship of the UK by descent.