Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has lost another MP. Picture: Mick Tsikas
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has lost another MP. Picture: Mick Tsikas

Another knockout in citizenship saga

FEDERAL MP John Alexander has today announced he is a dual citizen, confirming his British citizenship in a press conference this afternoon.

Mr Alexander is the second Lower House Coalition MP to resign over the citizenship saga and has triggered another by-election for the unpredictable Sydney seat of Bennelong.

"I have always believed that I am Australian and solely Australian. In view of recent events and the High Court decision, in my position, I have had to thoroughly examine my situation.

"My right to remain in parliament depends on my belief that I am solely Australian. Given what I have learned about the Constitution and understanding now of the High Court decision just a couple of weeks ago, I can no longer, with sufficient certainty, maintain the belief that I have held through my 66 years.

"Therefore, it is my obligation that I must resign. That's what I will do. I think there is a great need for certainty, to clarify the situation and to do so as expeditiously as possible. I will seek the support of my party to contest the by-election for Bennelong," Mr Alexander said.

The Federal MP was outed as potential having British citizenship on Monday night, a claim Mr Alexander said is "not absolutely conclusive".

Federal Liberal Bennelong MP John Alexander takes part in the Worlds Greatest Shave after completing his 100km walk for the same charity. Picture: Justin Sanson
Federal Liberal Bennelong MP John Alexander takes part in the Worlds Greatest Shave after completing his 100km walk for the same charity. Picture: Justin Sanson

"It is not absolutely conclusive, but the balance, the probability of evidence is that I most likely am. I think that I got, simply got to the point I couldn't hold the belief with the level of certainty that I think I needed to have," he told the reporters.

Mr Turnubll previously said he would expect the Bennelong MP to step down immediately if he received confirmation he is a British citizen, something Mr Alexander confirmed today.

"I felt I had to resign, that's why I have chosen to do. I spoke to the Prime Minister late yesterday. I told him of my intentions. He encouraged me to be decisive, to act expeditiously, and to put things beyond any question of doubt.

"That's what I think the people of Bennelong want and what Australia is tired of this absurd situation. I don't have any degrees, I have a degree in common sense and it doesn't make any common sense," he said.

The Federal MP went on to detail his involvement in the Bennelong community.

"I have been involved in this community for a long period of time. From 1981 when I coached tennis during school holidays at Tennis World in Ryde to working for Channel 7 in Epping, to being the general manager, managing director, rather, of Next Generation clubs where we developed the Ryde aquatic centre and the Next Generation club there," he said.

Despite Mr Alexander's dual citizenship forcing the MP to resign, he said he is still working hard for the community.

"As the member for Bennelong, I have been hugely proud of this community and I've done a refresher course in the last five weeks when I did the 100km walk to raise money and awareness of leukaemia. It was a reminder of the generosity of this community and why I am so proud to support it," he said.



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