There has been an outcry in Italy after the first black government minister Cecile Kyenge was racially insulted by the Senate vice-president.
Roberto Calderoli of the Northern League compared the integration minister to an orang-utan – not the first time the opposition party has attacked her.
He told a party meeting in Treviglio: “When I see pictures of Kyenge, I can’t help thinking of similarities to an orang-utan, even if I’m not saying she is one.”
Since her appointment, Cecile Kyenge has suffered verbal abuse and death threats via social media.
Italy’s Prime Minister Enrico Letta called Calderoli’s comments “beyond the pale”.
Members of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) called on the senator to resign, vowing to pursue the matter.