South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon has received confirmation from the UK Home Office that he is a British citizen.
Mr Xenophon received citizenship through his father, Theodoros Xenophou, who is from Cyprus which was a British colony until 1960.
Mr Xenophou retained his British citizenship, which passed through to his son, making Mr Xenophon a ‘British overseas citizen’, despite being born in Adelaide.
In a press conference Mr Xenophon discussed his call with the UK Home Office, who described his particular type of British citizenship as “useless” and described the situation as a “rare peculiarity”.
“It seems that being born in Australia, according to the 1948 UK legislation, makes me a colonial pom, something that has stunned me and my 86-year-old father,” he said.
“The literature on this and oral advice from the UK Home Office is that this form of citizenship is useless, and indeed in many cases it confers fewer rights than an Australian citizen traveling on an Australian passport to the United Kingdom would have.”
Mr Xenophon intends to refer himself to the High Court, and has confirmed he will continue working and voting as a senator until a ruling is made.
Mr Xenophon is the latest in a series of Australian senators and MPs that have been found to be dual citizens, breaching section 44 of the constitution.
The scandal has seen Greens senators Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters resign.
Nationals Senators Fiona Nash and Matt Canavan, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts are all under question as well, with the High Court set to decide on the matter.
“The issue of whether an MP is a dual citizen or not will be a festering farce until there has been a full audit of all MPs and senators and there needs to be a resolution through the High Court.”