Brawl in Italian parliament leaves MP injured after Five Star and League confrontation

A brawl erupted in Italy's parliament on Wednesday, resulting in one MP having to leave in a wheelchair after he was allegedly kicked and punched.

Footage from Italy's Chamber of Deputies, its lower house of parliament, shows Leonardo Donno, an MP from the populist Five Star movement, walking towards a minister amid a heated debate about a local government bill intended to give Italy's regions greater powers.

Mr Donno - who opposes the bill - thrust an Italian flag in the face of the minister, Roberto Calderoli, a member of the right-wing League party.

Two clerks tried to intervene to restore order but they were almost immediately surrounded by at least a dozen parliamentarians.

"The blows to my sternum took my breath away, I collapsed as I struggled to breathe. I was scared," Mr Donno was quoted as saying by the Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera while describing how he suffered "kicks and punches".

He added doctors checked his heart seven to eight times following the alleged assault.

Former prime minister Giuseppe Conte condemned the "violence" and blamed Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni's government.

He said: "Hands off us, hands off our flag."

The League, a party in coalition with Ms Meloni's Brothers of Italy, denied the attack and blamed Mr Donno for sparking the brawl.

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Writer and commentator Francesco Giubilei branded the scenes from parliament "pitiful", especially at a time when the world's eyes are on Italy as it hosts the G7 in the southern region of Puglia.

"They are an insult frankly to the millions of Italians who struggle to get to the end of the month and are trying to find answers from politics," he added while talking on national TV.

Matteo Bassetti, a well-known doctor in Italy, also wrote on X: "Images of the brawl between parliamentarians crystallise the current distance between the population and who should be representing them. Poor Italy."