Parry, Fiefield, Turnbull, Joyce, a whole heap of them. Of course they all bloody knew and formed a conspiracy of silence. The Liberals are in so much shit now.
Parry could be a dual UK-Australian citizen, but said nothing after the then Senate president confessed to him. Mr Parry also confided in an unnamed member of the outer ministry about his citizenship concerns. He revealed the concerns after former cabinet minister Fiona Nash referred herself to the High Court.
“I’m disappointed: Turnbull – Malcolm Turnbull says he’s disappointed outgoing Senate President Stephen Parry kept his dual citizenship concerns to himself and has rejected calls for an audit into all MPs citizenship status.”. Apparently this is a direct quote.
Fairfax Media has been told Mr Parry was advised not to go public and refer himself to the High Court about his citizenship issues, despite believing his situation was similar to that of Ms Nash, because it was likely she would be cleared.
Instead, Ms Nash was booted from Parliament by the High Court and on Tuesday Mr Parry sensationally revealed he was a UK citizen and announced his decision to quit.
Senator Fifield told Fairfax Media on Thursday night that “former senator Parry mentioned to me a few weeks ago that he was endeavouring to check his family’s records”.
Senator Fifield said the onus was on all senators and members to satisfy themselves of their circumstances and “I encouraged Senator Parry to do so” – contradicting suggestions he told Mr Parry to stay quiet. “He called me on Monday to say that he had sought advice from the British Home Office and had advised the Attorney-General of this.”
The fact Mr Parry chose to stay quiet has raised questions about his integrity and heightened concerns that other MPs could be keeping quiet about possibily being dual citizens.
Senator Fifield’s admission that he knew of Mr Parry’s concerns also raises questions about the government’s handling of the affair; precisely who knew what, and when, has become a central question.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said he only found out on Tuesday that Senator Parry was a dual citizen.
Allies of the former senator say he has been hurt at public criticism from colleagues over his decision to stay quiet, given high-level advice not to refer himself to the court.
Mr Parry declined to comment when contacted.