I'm eligible to stand in byelection, says Alexander

Kristina Keneally snuck up on John Alexander while he was campaigning in Eastwood Mall with Julie Bishop. Pic Nick Moir
Kristina Keneally snuck up on John Alexander while he was campaigning in Eastwood Mall with Julie Bishop. Pic Nick Moir
Kristina Keneally snuck up on John Alexander while he was campaigning in Eastwood Mall with Julie Bishop. Pic Nick Moir 15 nov 2017

Kristina Keneally snuck up on John Alexander while he was campaigning in Eastwood Mall with Julie Bishop. Pic Nick Moir 15 nov 2017

Recently resigned Liberal MP for Bennelong John Alexander said on Friday he would be eligible to stand in next month's byelection after receiving advice from the UK Home Office that he had successfully renounced his rights to British citizenship.

The advice clears up question marks about whether Mr Alexander would be constitutionally eligible to stand in time for the December 16 poll.

Mr Alexander resigned from Parliament over the weekend after he was unable to prove that he was not a dual British citizen. He was one of several MPs engulfed by a citizenship crisis because of a constitutional provision preventing those holding foreign nationalities from sitting in Parliament.

"I had official notification from the [UK] Home Office that I am what I have always believed that I am, indeed something that I have always believed I am: Australian and solely Australian," he said.

Mr Alexander was eligible for British citizenship by descent because his father was British-born.

He said the UK government had informed him on Friday morning that his request to renounce his eligibility for citizenship had been approved.

There had been questions about whether Mr Alexander would have had time to clear up his eligibility to stand for the December 16 byelection.

Mr Alexander undertook to provide journalists with a copy of the Home Office correspondence after the press conference.

Mr Alexander also confirmed he had cleared the only other potential roadblock to standing: Liberal party preselection.

"I have been officially endorsed as the Liberal candidate for Bennelong," he said.

After receiving the advice, Mr Alexander was installed by Liberal party state director Chris Stone, who exercised special powers that allow the party to bypass open preselections during election campaigns.

"I can now campaign with confidence to continue the work I have been engaged in," he said.

On Wednesday Mr Alexander said correspondence about his citizenship status had been frustrated by the fact that his UK-born father, Gilbert, had been born in 1907 and arrived in Australia as an infant without official papers.

Labor announced this week its candidate for the seat would be former NSW premier Kristina Keneally.

The seat is held by a two-party-preferrred margin of 9.7 per cent.

Mr Alexander was elected in 2010, when he won the seat back from Labor.

This story I'm eligible to stand in byelection, says Alexander first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.