It’s Bennelong time coming ... But the PM has lost his majority
MALCOLM Turnbull will l preside over a minority government after encouraging Liberal MP John Alexander to do the “honourable thing” and resign from Parliament because he is likely a dual British citizen.
The Prime Minister tried to use yesterday’s bombshell resignation, which has left him vulnerable to losing control of Parliament, to increase pressure on Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to stop running a “protection racket” for a group of Labor MPs suspected of being dual citizens.
“John Alexander has done the right thing. I spoke to him last night and he told me that he was no longer sufficiently satisfied, or no longer sure, that he was not a UK citizen,” he said.
“If members believe they are no longer eligible to sit in the Parliame Parliament, t th they shouldn’t sit in the Parliament.”
In the latest twist in the citizenship crisis, Mr Alexander announced his resignation and declared he would recontest the marginal seat of Bennelong in a by-election to be held as early as December 16.
“Given what I have learned about the Constitution, and understanding now of the High Court decision of just a few weeks ago, I can no longer, with sufficient certainty, maintain the belief that I have held through my 66 years,’’ he said. A group of Labor MPs M are refusing to resign, re despite seriou ous doubts over th their eligibility to si sit in Parliament, in including Justine Keay and Susan Lamb, along w with Senator K Katy Gallagher. Mr Turnbull said the Labor MPs should follow Mr Alexander’s lead and face a by-election on the same day. The Prime Minister, who responded to the citizenship crisis engulfing Parliament while continuing to meet with world leaders at the APEC summit in Vietnam, said a general election was not necessary and insisted his Government was stable and in control. “We absolutely are providing stable government,” he said.
POMSHELL: John Alexander (above) announced his resignation after talks with Malcolm Turnbull (pictured inset in a selfie with US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at APEC).