Italian senator Roberto Calderoli said his comments were just ‘playful banter’. File photograph: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

A senator from Italy’s far-right League has been given an 18-month prison sentence for likening the country’s first black minister to an “orangutan”. (...)

Cecile Kyenge, photographed in Rome in  July 2013 when she was Italy’s integration minister. Photograph: Alberto Pizzoli /AFP/Getty Images)

When Cécile Kyenge was appointed Italy’s first black government minister in 2013, she was likened to an “orang-utan” by a politician from the country’(...)

Italy’s minister for integration Cecile Kyenge. Photograph: AFP

    An Italian politician has likened the country’s first black minister, Cecile Kyenge, to a prostitute in the latest of a ba(...)

Italian minister for integration Cecile Kyenge: “As a minister my security is fully guaranteed but there are plenty of [immigrant] people today who suffer similar insults and who have no protection.” Photograph: Reuters/Tony Gentile

Italy’s black integration minister, Congolese-born Cécile Kyenge, yesterday said she feared for the safety of Italy’s five-million-strong immigrant co(...)

Italian minister for integration Cécile Kyenge. She   adopted a dignified tone when asked about the incident.  Photograph: Reuters

The fundamentally crude and xenophobic nature of the federalist Northern League was highlighted last weekend when a senior party figure, former minist(...)

Italian minister for integration Cecile Kyenge: “I do not take [Roberto] Calderoli’s words as a personal insult but they sadden me because of the image they give of Italy.” Photograph: Reuters/Tony Gentile

Italian prime minister Enrico Letta has condemned comments made by a senior right-wing senator in which he suggested the country’s first black governm(...)