Berlusconi ally quits in corruption scandal

Published April 5, 2012 4:00PM (EDT)

ROME (AP) — An official of Italy's anti-immigrant Northern League party says Silvio Berlusconi's longtime political ally has quit as party chief amid a widening corruption scandal.

Umberto Bossi, the League's founder and firebrand populist, quit the top post of party secretary during a summit in Milan on Thursday, according to Matteo Salvini told Radio Padania, the League's radio network.

Salvini quoted Bossi as saying that wrongdoers in the scandal involving alleged skimming of party funds should "pay" for their errors. Bossi himself has denied wrongdoing. Salvini said Bossi will become League president, a lesser position.

Bossi's decades-long support kept Berlusconi in power in the media mogul's three premierships. Berlusconi resigned as premier in November amid Italy's worsening financial crisis.

By Salon Staff

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