An Italian senator allegedly mimed an act of oral sex to a female member of the opposition during a debate in parliament.
According to The Times, Lucio Barani appeared to make the action towards Barbara Lezzi, a member of the opposition Five Star Movement.
The parliamentary session in the upper house, which was debating plans to reform the senate, plunged into chaos following the incident as politicians from different parties begun shouting at the male politician.
Paola Taverna, a fellow member of the eurosceptic Five Star Movement called Mr Barani a “disgusting pig” while re-enacting the gesture in order to show the senate speaker, Pietro Grasso. Mr Grasso suspended the debate following the incident.
Mr Grasso reportedly said he will examine the footage to determine what happened.
According to Italian news agency Ansa, Mr Barani has apologised but defended his actions saying it was a “misunderstanding”.
“If [my gesture] was interpreted in an offensive way, I apologise to the women colleagues who perceived such gestures as being directed at them,” he said in a statement.
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