Eleven MPs suspended over brawl in Lower House

Eleven MPs have been suspended, with penalties ranging from two to 15 days, by the office of the Lower House’s Speaker in relation to a brawl in the chamber on Wednesday.

The ugly scenes broke out as the House was examining the government’s controversial bill for ‘differentiated autonomy’, which will enable regions to request more power over how the tax revenues collected in their areas are spent and which critics say will worsen the north-south gap.

At one stage M5S MP Leonardo Donno tried to hand an Italian flag to Regional Affairs and Autonomy Minister Roberto Calderoli, prompting a number of MPs from the governing coalition to rush over.

A male MP can be seen attempting to land punches in the footage of the incident.

Donno ended up on the floor and had to be taken out of the chamber in a wheelchair.

Donno subsequently said he was all right following medical tests and accused League MP Igor Iezzi of punching him in the face.

Iezzi denied this, admitting he had tried to deliver punches but saying he had failed to land a blow.

The longest suspension was given to Iezzi, who has been banned for 15 days.

Donno was suspended too, for four days.

Three members of Premier Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy (FdI) party, a League MP and Democratic Party lawmaker were suspended for a week.

Two other League MPs were banned for three days, while two more PD members got two-day suspensions.

The opposition M5S, PD, the Green-Left Alliance (AVS) and the More Europe parties are staging a protest rally in Rome on Tuesday after the brawl.

“After the physical attack by the ruling majority in Parliament, we cannot accept that the country is also hostage to this climate of continuous intimidation,” the parties said in a statement.

“We will not allow national unity and cohesion to be compromised.

“That is why we invite citizens, political and social groups and the civic and democratic forces of this country to join our mobilisation”.

On Thursday PD Secretary Elly Schlein said that Meloni was “aware of fascism in her party” and “should have taken the time to declare herself anti-Fascist”.