Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie
Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie facebook.com/senatorlambie

Jacqui Lambie is a British citizen, it has been revealed. The Tasmanian senator will be resigning after learning that her father being a Scottish citizen makes her one too.

“I will be resigning from the Senate. It’s been made quite clear that because of my father, I am also Scottish,” she told a Launceston radio program [via the ABC] on Tuesday. She said she realised that she could be a dual citizen while studying her father’s history following Stephen Parry’s resignation from the Senate. Her father was born in Scotland. Parry’s father was also born in the UK but had emigrated to Australia in the ‘50s.

She asked the UK Home Office for clarification of her citizenship, and the office confirmed early Tuesday morning. She said it never occurred to her that she was also a citizen of Scotland until other politicians’ citizenship was also questioned.

Lambie’s father was equally upset about learning their dual citizenship. Last week, she said she was confident that she did not hold dual citizenship.

“I am proud of my Scottish ancestry and my father is, too,” she said, adding she was “happy to put on record” that her parents were both Australian citizens and she had no concern of being a Scottish citizen because of her father’s birth place. Her father was born in Scotland but was taken to live in Australia when he was just an infant as her grandfather came to the country to enlist in the army.

The constitution states that dual citizens are barred from serving in the Parliament. And while Lambie was ultimately found to be in violation of the rule, she still stands by the law.

“I didn’t write that but I stand by that. I respect that. Bottom line, I probably should have been a bit smarter and checked the citizenship stuff,” she said.

Her revelation came a week after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced plans to have federal MPs and senators declare their citizenship status after winning the election. Current MPs would have to provide proof of their eligibility as well.