Bossi resigns over funds scandal

The firebrand founder of the Italian anti-immigrant party whose support kept Silvio Berlusconi in power during three governments resigned yesterday amid a corruption scandal over party funds. Umberto Bossi quit as Northern League secretary, the top post, at a summit of party officials in Milan.

A former party treasurer – Francesco Belsito – quit on Tuesday after authorities alleged he used party fund to pay for redvelopments at Mr Bossi’s house and holidays for his children.

The Northern League is the only party in opposition to Italy’s technocratic government.

Bossi’s decades-long support made him Mr Berlusconi’s lynchpin coalition partner in three governments. When Bossi withdrew his backing in late 1994, Mr Berlusconi’s first government collapsed.

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