Italy’s first black minister, Cecile Kyenge has demanded an apology from the leader of the Northern League. It comes after members of the party staged a walk out when she arrived for a meeting in the northern town of Cantu near Como.
It was the last straw for the Integration Minister who joined Enrico Letta’s government in April. Since then she has faced almost daily racial slurs.
“I call on the leader of the Northern League after recent events, after the attacks of recent days to say something, to make a strong statement about what happened, especially to guarantee my presence at another meeting which they are holding. In the absence of him responding I cannot guarantee my presence at that meeting,” she said.
Earlier a Northern League official likened her to a gorilla in a Facebook post. The leader of the party stopped short of an apology.
“The league does not make personal attacks, but fights against policy proposals such as her proposal on citizenship for foreigners – a big error,” said Roberto Maroni leader Northern League.
Kyenge who is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo had bananas thrown at her when speaking at a meeting last weekend. The incident sparked outrage and was condemned with the country’s top politicians rallying round her.