Liberal politician resigns over dual citizenship scandal

The political future of rising star Matt Canavan will rest in the hands of the high court after the news broke he was an Italian citizen.

Canavan, who is a Queensland senator, resigned as Resources Minister on Tuesday night amid concerns he may be ineligible to sit in federal parliament.

The 36-year-old was born in Australia and has never been to Italy.


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He blamed his mother for the mishap, who registered members of her family as “Italian resident abroad” in Brisbane in 2006.

He was 25 at the time and said he didn’t know about it.

“Until last week, I had no suspicion that I could possibly be an Italian citizen,” Canavan said.

The Turnbull government is seeking legal advice but its preliminary view is that he is not in breach of section 44 of the constitution, which bars people with dual or plural citizenship from sitting in parliament.

It comes hot on the heels of Greens senators Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlam’s resignations following the discovery of their dual citizenship.