The citizenship fiasco continues. On Wednesday morning the Australian High Court ruled ACT Labor Senator Katy Gallagher ineligible to sit in parliament, rejecting her argument that she had taken reasonable steps to renounce her British citizenship.
#BREAKING ACT Labor senator Katy Gallagher has been found by the High Court to be ineligible to remain in Parliament. Spotlight now moves to Justine Keay, Josh Wilson, Susan Lamb and Rebekha Sharkie.
— Stephanie Peatling (@srpeatling) May 9, 2018
In making this ruling the High Court’s decision is likely to set four further by-elections into motion. Gallagher’s situation has provided a test case, in effect, for four MPs who relied on a similar argument to remain in parliament.
Labor’s Susan Lamb, Josh Wilson and Justine Keay, and Rebekha Sharkie of the Centre Alliance (formerly the Nick Xenophon Team), are the MPs now under pressure to confirm their eligibility.
On Tuesday Tony Burke indicated that if Gallagher was found to be ineligible the three labor MPs would resign. Sharkie has confirmed she is seeking urgent legal advice about her position.
— Alice Workman (@workmanalice) May 9, 2018
Gallagher expressed her disappointment after the decision:
“To have my place in the Senate end like this today is very deeply disappointing but I believe that I have more to contribute to public life and I will take the time to talk with Labor Party members on how I can do this over the months ahead.”