Australian politician facing disqualification from office - because father is Scottish

An Australian senator is the latest high profile politician in the country to face the axe - after it was discovered her father was born in Scotland.

Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie had claimed she was Aboriginal in her maiden speech in 2014.

In recent weeks, five members of Australia's 226-member parliament have admitted that they may have unwittingly held dual citizenship - a condition that, under Australia's 1900 constitution, disqualifies them from political office in Canberra - in what has been dubbed the "world's most ridiculous constitutional crisis".

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Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

A recent High Court ruling upheld a strict reading of the constitutional disqualification of foreign citizens from standing for office, meaning five politicians stood down. Among them is Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.

Senator Lambie strongly denies any claims she may hold dual citizenship as a result of her father's birthplace, but admitted she only found out about his Scottish birthplace when researching her autobiography. Thomas Lambie, Senator Lambie's father, was brought to Australia from Larkhall, Scotland as a toddler in the 1950s and her grandfather subsequently served in the Australian Army.

She said: "I'm happy to put on record that I'm satisfied that my parents are both Australian citizens and I have no concerns about me being a dual citizen because of where they were born or came from, in the case of my father, as an infant.

Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

"I am proud of my Scottish ancestry and my father is, too."

While in the ruling ion October, the judges said it may be harsh to disqualify Australian-born candidates who had no reasons to believe they were not exclusively Australian, “those facts must always have been knowable”.

The judges also pointed to the “difficulties of proving or disproving a person’s state of mind” if ignorance of dual citizenship was recognised as an excuse.