Italian Pol Says He Was Banned From Party For Not Being An Attractive Woman

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I am beginning to love following Italian politics.

A former Italian MEP is claiming that he was prevented from standing again for Silvio Berlusconi’s party in the European election last month because he did not fit in with the party’s ‘revolution’ of appointing glamorous young women.

Marcello Vernola, 48, a lawyer from Bari, was elected to the European Parliament in 2004 for Forza Italia, now part of the centre-right People of Liberty (Pdl) party. He said he had been assured that he would stand again in June.

He says that when this did not happen he was told by Denis Verdini, a national co-ordinator for the PdL: ‘Tu mica c’hai le poppe?’ or ‘Do you have tits?’ — an apparent reference to the policy by Mr Berlusconi of fielding attractive young women as candidates. Mr Verdini denied that he made such a remark.