Italy’s first black senator: my election shows far right is not anti-immigration


Italy’s first black senator has said his election for the League has proved that the far-right party, whose anti-immigrant rhetoric helped it to its best ever result on Sunday, has no problem with legal migration.

Campaigning under the party slogan “stop the invasion”, Toni Iwobi, a 62-year-old businessman originally from Nigeria, won his seat in Spirano, a small town in the Lombardy province of Bergamo, as the party took almost 18% of the vote nationwide.

“It’s an incredible honour for me to be Italy’s first black senator,” he told the Guardian. He shared success in the region with his party colleague Attilio Fontana, the new governor of Lombardy, who at the start of the election campaign said Italy’s migrant influx threatened to wipe out “our white race”. Iwobi, who owns an IT company, came to Italy in the late 1970s to study in Perugia. He later moved to Spirano, where he said he found the two loves of his life: his Italian wife and the League, then known as the Northern League. He became a councillor for the party in 1995.(theguardian)…[+]