Explaining the citizenship chaos in Australia's senate

The New South Wales senator based in rural Young said based on the advice of the solicitor-general, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had advised there is no need for her to step down as deputy Nationals leader or resign from cabinet.

Three other politicians will also have their eligibility tested in court as early as next week, namely far-right Senator Malcolm Roberts, who claims he renounced his United Kingdom citizenship, Scott Ludlam, who resigned as co-deputy leader of the left-wing Greens over his New Zealand status and another Greens co-deputy leader and Canadian dual national, Larissa Waters, who has also resigned.

Mr Turnbull's one-seat majority in the lower house is in jeopardy after deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce on Monday said he may be ineligible for parliament due to New Zealand citizenship by descent.

Senator Canavan says his mother signed him up for Italian citizenship when he was 25 without his knowledge.

Three ministers now face questions about whether they were validly elected: Barnaby Joyce, Matt Canavan and Fiona Nash.

Like Mr Joyce, Senator Nash vowed to stay on as a minister, citing legal advice the government had received.

"Nothing in the later United Kingdom nationality legislation will have removed British citizenship from Peter and Michael", Mr Gamble said. Now the government's situation has become so precarious that it will try to keep Joyce and Nash in their posts until the country's supreme court rules on their cases.

"The committee resolved the matter should be referred to the Court of Disputed Returns", Brandis said.

Nash is one of two ministers assigned to the communications portfolio.

"I will also continue as deputy leader of the National party".

It was revealed an Australian Labor Party staff member had contacted New Zealand Labour MP Chris Hipkins, who put questions in parliament about dual citizenship rules.

Mr Joyce is the fifth Australian MP to have their citizenship questioned since last month, following senators Scott Ludlam, Larissa Waters, Matthew Canavan and Malcolm Roberts.

Two other MPs, from One Nation and Family First, were disqualified by the High Court earlier this year.

The meaning of section 44 (i) has not been read by the High Court as an absolute bar on a candidate being a foreign citizen.

Under Section 44 (i) of the constitution, any person who is "under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power. shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives". Nick Xenophon, a left-leaning independent who controls three seats in the Senate, told reporters on Friday he was checking to see if he may hold British citizenship through his father.

"She went into senate and made statement to senate at 7.05pm".