World News

Nine MPs set to be referred to High Court

Nine MPs set to be referred to High Court

Four other Labor MPs are under a citizenship cloud and the Federal Government is demanding that Opposition Leader Bill Shorten refer his members to the High Court.

"There are a number of people on the Labor side who were clearly United Kingdom citizens at the time they nominated for parliament", the prime minister said.

The former ACT chief minister is the first Labor figure to face a court test since the citizenship fiasco began mid-year.

Mr Feeney has been questioned over his links to Northern Island.

But while ratcheting up pressure on Labor, the government, thus far, is digging in behind a group of its own MPs who have not provided watertight evidence about their own citizenship status, including Josh Frydenberg and Jason Falinski.

Mr Feeney, who was one of 150 MPs to lodge their citizenship and family history details in parliament on Tuesday, said he lodged renunciation papers in 2007 but has been unable to find any records of them.

Senator Gallagher, whose father was born in the United Kingdom in 1939, did not receive the formal renunciation document until August 16, just over two months past the nomination date for the election.

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Labor leader in the Senate, Penny Wong, brought on the referral motion, and said it was being done so to end the attacks on Gallagher that were "undermining the legitimacy and dignity" of the Senate.

Attorney-General George Brandis told parliament the government did not reflect on the integrity of Senator Gallagher.

Senator Gallagher stood aside from her frontbench portfolios and as manager of opposition business in the Senate.

The coalition and Labor are in backroom talks on how to deal with a number of lower house MPs whose eligibility is in doubt.

"It doesn't have to be a showdown if Mr Shorten does the right thing", Senator Brandis said.

Speaking in the Senate on Wednesday, Gallagher said that the legal advice Labor had received stated she had taken all reasonable steps to renounce before the election, and that it should not matter when a public servant in the UK Home Office actually processes the renunciation.

"They've got people who are dual citizens, so they think if the House is going to refer them to the High Court, it should also refer some of ours who are not dual citizens".


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