Italy's premier Giuseppe Conte to resign

Conte will hand in his resignation on 26 January.

Italy's prime minister Giuseppe Conte will offer his resignation to the president on Tuesday 26 January, his office said tonight.

Conte has convened his cabinet for a meeting at 09.00 during which he will inform government ministers of his intention to resign.

From there he will go to the Quirinale to see President Sergio Mattarella, reports Italian news agency ANSA.

Conte is hoping that Mattarella will give him a mandate to form a stronger government, according to senior government sources, after the premier lost his majority last week.

The government was plunged into crisis after the centrist Italia Viva (IV)  party led by former premier Matteo Renzi withdrew from the nation’s ruling coalition, leaving Conte without a parliamentary majority.

Since then Conte has focused on trying to entice centrist and independent senators to the government’s ranks to broaden his majority.

However he has had little success and has come under increasing pressure from within his coalition.

The political turmoil comes as Italy is grappling to contain a covid-19 pandemic amid the worst economic recession since world war two.