Barnaby Joyce ruled ineligible by High Court over dual citizenship

Barnaby Joyce in Question Time. Photo: AAP
Barnaby Joyce in Question Time. Photo: AAP

DEPUTY Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce will have to face a by-election in his seat of New England after the High Court ruled against five of the ‘Citizenship Seven’ on Friday.

Joyce, cabinet colleague Fiona Nash, former minister Matt Canavan, former Greens senators Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlam, One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts and crossbencher Nick Xenophon were referred to the High Court over their dual citizenship.

Only Canavan and Xenophon were not disqualified.

Joyce said he had prepared for the worst.

“I was always prepared for this outcome, I don’t actually stand here totally surprised,” he said.

“It is a tough game, politics.

“We all buy the ticket, we know the risks.

“Now I am going to make sure that I don’t cry in in my beer, I will get back to work and were cut for the people in my electorate, New England, and do the best for my nation which I have always tried to do.”

Australia’s constitution bans anyone holding dual citizenship from sitting in parliament, in a section aimed at ensuring MPs do not hold split allegiances.

The disqualification of Mr Joyce will not only trigger a by-election, but Labor says there will also be legal questions over ministerial decisions by him and senators Nash and Canavan.

The Nationals leader is widely expected to win a by-election but it will be a concern for the government, which has held on to power by one seat since the 2016 election.

With Malcolm Turnbull heading to Israel, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will step into the acting prime minister role.

Ms Waters and Mr Ludlam have already resigned from parliament over their dual citizenship by birth in Canada and New Zealand, respectively.