Australian deputy PM reveals he may be New Zealand citizen

Barnaby Joyce speaks in Australia's parliamentImage copyright
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Barnaby Joyce will refer the matter to Australia’s High Court

Australia’s deputy prime minister, Barnaby Joyce, has revealed that he may hold dual citizenship with New Zealand.

Holding public office as a dual citizen is not allowed under Australia’s constitution.

Mr Joyce says he will ask the nation’s High Court to rule on the matter, after receiving legal advice that he is not in breach of rules.

He will remain as deputy prime minister in the meantime at the request of PM Malcolm Turnbull.

Mr Joyce is the latest of several Australian politicians to be caught up in dual citizenship scandals.

Two senators, Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters, were forced to resign last month over their citizenship status.

Speaking in parliament, Mr Joyce said he was “shocked” to be contacted by the New Zealand High Commission last week and informed he could be a citizen by descent.

The politician’s father was born in New Zealand.

“Neither I, nor my parents have ever had any reason to believe I may be a citizen of another country,” he said.

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