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Berlusconi made ‘huge impact’ on Italian politics, says No 10

It was confirmed on Monday that Italy’s longest-serving premier and media mogul Silvio Berlusconi had died at the age of 86.

Silvio Berlusconi made a “huge impact” on Italian politics, Downing Street said amid tributes to the former prime minister.

It was confirmed on Monday that Italy’s longest-serving premier and media mogul died at the age of 86.

His political career was also marked by scandals over his sex-fuelled parties and allegations of corruption.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman offered a short tribute to the former Italian leader: “Silvio Berlusconi made a huge impact on Italian politics over several decades and our thoughts are with the Italian people and his family.”

G8 and G20 summits
Former prime minister David Cameron with Mr Berlusconi (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Italian news agency LaPresse reported Mr Berlusconi’s death after he was taken to hospital on Friday for the second time in months to be treated for chronic leukaemia.

Mr Berlusconi had previously been taken to hospital in Milan on April 5 with a lung infection stemming from the disease, said Dr Alberto Zangrillo, his personal doctor.

He had suffered over the years from heart ailments and prostate cancer, and was also treated in hospital after a Covid-19 infection in 2020.

His three stints in office made him a familiar figure on the world stage and in Britain, with Mr Berlusconi working with multiple British prime ministers including Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron.

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