The Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Barnaby Joyce, together with four senators, has had his election declared null and void by the country’s High Court. There will be a by-election to fill the Deputy PM’s seat, which has been vacated by this ruling. There will also be recounts in the four senate seats.
All this was due to infringements of rules pertaining to dual citizenship. Australia’s constitution bans anyone holding dual citizenship from sitting in parliament. Mr Joyce discovered that he had joint New Zealand citizenship by descent from his father. He has since renounced this status and will fight the forthcoming by-election.
This is all a nightmare for Australian PM, Malcolm Turnbull, who holds power with a “waafer thin” majority.
And it seems all this was kicked off by one William Summers, a Melbourne-based blogger hailing from Norfolk who was once an assistant to Norman Lamb and Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Norfolk North West in 2010. William spotted that the Deputy PM was also a New Zealand citizen, pointed this out in a blog post, and the whole thing kicked off.
You couldn’t make it up!
William Summers tweets @william_summers