Queensland senator and Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan. Picture: Darren England.
Queensland senator and Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan. Picture: Darren England.

Senator blames mum in citizenship crisis

QUEENSLAND senator Matt Canavan has stood aside from Federal Cabinet amid claims he holds Italian citizenship.

Senator Canavan told a media conference he believed his mother had applied for his Italian citizenship in 2006, while applying for herself.

He said the application was made without his knowledge or consent, and he was not yet certain if the dual citizenship was binding.

He said he was not born in Italy and had never set foot in the country.

Senator Canavan said he did not intend to resign as a senator, and would stand aside as Minister for Resources and Northern Australia until the matter was resolved.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced his deputy Barnaby Joyce will handle Senator Canavan's portfolios until the matter was resolved.

The dual citizenship issue has already claimed Greens co-deputy leaders Larissa Waters (also a Queensland senator) and Scott Ludlam.

Section 44 of the Constitution makes dual citizens ineligible to hold elected office, and the current political crisis has triggered calls for a change to the rules.

Senator Canavan's predicament promoted a rare moment of bipartisanship as former senator Waters tweeted her sympathy:

News Corp Australia

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