Comic's party support wanes


Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, which enjoyed a meteoric rise in public support over the past year, is suddenly looking more ragged and disunited just as an election campaign gets under way.

Comedian Beppe Grillo, the movement’s charismatic founder and chief, yesterday expelled two prominent party members after weeks of growing internal dissent over what critics say is his dictatorial leadership style.

Grillo, who is famous for his rants against Italy’s ruling classes, on Tuesday turned his fire on his own party, saying he was fed up with internal sniping and that anyone with complaints against him could “get out of the movement”.