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xmas 2017 wings

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Tearful Jacqui Lambie leaves parliament

Jacqui Lambie came in like a wrecking ball and her tearful resignation prompted a hit of love.

Senators lined up to embrace her on Tuesday, praising the Tasmanian firebrand's passion after she confirmed she would quit due to dual citizenship attained through her Scottish-born father.

Attorney-General George Brandis spoke of "love from all sides of the chamber", while Labor's Doug Cameron thanked the working-class senator for ensuring no one was ever bored.

"More Lambies, less lawyers," Senator Cameron said.

After entering parliament in 2013 representing Clive Palmer's now defunct party, Senator Lambie quit to sit as an independent the following year.

It was adaptability she learned during her time in the armed forces which allowed her to survive in Canberra, she said.

"When I first came up here I was a wrecking ball, let's be honest," she told reporters shortly after leaving the Senate chamber.

Senator Lambie said she had worked hard to be a voice for veterans, people on welfare and pensioners.

"Unlike some in this place, who say they are there for the battler, I actually refused to deliver the budget into surplus by driving struggling families into further poverty."

While announcing her departure, Senator Lambie's distinctive ocker tone cracked with emotion as she thanked her staff.

Never far from controversy on topics ranging from her views on Islam to her love life, Senator Lambie's resignation speech reinforced her varied positions.

Of issues still before the parliament, she sided with the government on superannuation, Labor on industrial relations and the Greens against drug testing welfare recipients.

Lambie, who is indigenous, quit after the British Home Office confirmed her UK citizenship.

"I said, dad, you are a dual citizen and I'm your daughter and I love you," she said.

"And I am also a dual citizen, so it's game over."

But her political career appears far from finished.

If Labor MP Justine Keay is referred to the High Court over her own citizenship doubts, it could trigger by-election in her Tasmanian seat of Braddon.

Lambie hasn't ruled out a tilt for the lower house and with her high-profile on the Apple Isle, Labor would have to fight hard to retain the seat.

Her replacement is expected to be the next Jacqui Lambie Network candidate on the 2016 ticket, Devonport mayor Steve Martin.

However, Mr Martin's position as mayor could render him ineligible under section 44 of the constitution disqualifying anyone with an "office of profit under the crown".

Senator Lambie is confident he will take his place, but says the next person on the ticket, Rob Waterman, will fill the vacancy if the High Court finds Mr Martin is ineligible.

© AAP 2017

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