Italy's first black minister has demanded that the leader of the anti-immigrant Northern League put a stop to racist remarks directed at her by members of his party.
Cécile Kyenge, the Integration Minister, said that she told Roberto Maroni the behaviour of some members of the Northern League had become "intolerable".
Ms Kyenge has been the target of numerous racist outbursts since accepting the cabinet post in Enrico Letta's three-month-old government.
In a recent incident, Northern League council members walked out of a meeting she attended in a town near Milan and a Northern League official near Padua likened her to a gorilla in a Facebook post.
Ms Kyenge says she will not be intimidated into stepping down, nor does she believe that Italians in general are racist.