Maverick Tasmanian politician Jacqui Lambie has broken down in tears as she resigned from the Senate over her dual British-Australian citizenship.
“I love my father to death and I do not blame him for this,” said an emotional Ms Lambie, who revealed on Tuesday she held British citizenship through her dad.
“He’s done nothing for which to apologise. And he has been my strongest supporter, my loudest cheer squad and my closest adviser.
“It’s not because of him that I am leaving this place. It’s because of him that I am here in the first place.”
Ms Lambie revealed last week that she had learned of her Scottish ancestry while researching for her autobiography.
But she had publicly expressed confidence that she was not a dual citizen until Tuesday.
Ms Lambie, an army veteran, has been a vocal critic of the government, often siding with Labor on issues such as welfare and industrial relations.
Watch Jacqui Lambie’s speech:
“I’ve worked hard to be a voice for those who don’t get much of a voice in this chamber,” she said.
“Veterans fight hard for this country, they shouldn’t have to fight this government when they get back.
“Politicians on both sides of the house talk about helping those on welfare without ever having experienced what it’s like to choose between spending your welfare payment on either school uniforms or school lunches.
“The same politicians who spend their days writing speeches and writing books about how they support Western civilisation, don’t do a thing to support pensioners.”
Earlier this year, she gave an emotional speech against changes to welfare in which she recalled living on family payments as a single mother.
Earlier, in an interview on Tasmanian radio, Ms Lambie, who is based in Burnie in Tasmania’s northwest, did not rule out running against Labor MP Justine Keay if a byelection is triggered in the seat of Braddon.
She said she would not run in the upcoming Tasmanian state election and would re-contest her seat at the next election.
“I won’t be laying down. I’m going to get right back on,” Senator Lambie said.
“So I am going to have another swing at it and we’ll see how we go this time.”
The army veteran entered Parliament as a Palmer United Party politician before dramatically splitting with the minor party in 2014.
She remained in the Senate as an independent and won re-election under the Jacqui Lambie Network (JLN) banner at the 2016 election.
Ms Lambie will be replaced by another JLN candidate. The next candidate on the ticket is Devonport mayor Steve Martin.