Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has been disqualified from sitting in parliament after the High Court ruled him ineligible due to his dual citizenship.
Mr Joyce was booted out over Section 44 of Australia’s constitution, which bans anyone holding dual citizenship from sitting in parliament, in a section aimed at ensuring MPs do not hold split allegiances.
‘‘In my gut I thought this is the way it was going to go,’’ Mr Joyce said after Friday’s High Court ruling.
Mr Joyce only became aware of the possibility he might have New Zealand citizenship after media inquiries to his office in July.
The NZ High Commission informed him that he was a NZ citizen under the law of that country on August 10, and he has since formally renounced the citizenship.
Mr Joyce will face a by-election in his NSW seat of New England, putting the Turnbull Government’s one-seat majority at risk.
Also disqualified were Deputy Nationals leader and senator Fiona Nash, former Greens senators Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters and One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts.
Former cabinet minister Matt Canavan and crossbencher Nick Xenophon were found not to be disqualified.
It’s expected Mr Joyce will hold on to his seat despite a potential challenge from former New England MP Tony Windsor and a host of minor party candidates.