Iceland names new Prime Minister

Iceland names new Prime Minister

Iceland's Government has named a new Prime Minister - the agriculture minister Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson.

He replaces the previous leader Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson, who was forced to step down in the wake of the Panama Papers scandal.

Gunnlaugsson was accused of hiding an offshore account revealed in the biggest financial leak in history.

The new Prime Minister says he expects to call an election this autumn.

Mr Johannsson (pictured) said Iceland's centre-right governing coalition remains intact despite the turmoil that began on Sunday after a massive leak of documents from a Panamanian law firm showed it created offshore accounts for prime minister Gunnlaugsson and his wife.

Opposition MPs have said Mr Gunnlaugsson's offshore accounts revealed a significant conflict of interest with his official duties. They now accuse the government of trying to cling to power.

Earlier on Wednesday, hundreds of people staged a noisy protest in the rain outside parliament in Reykjavik - the third consecutive day of demonstrations calling for a new government in the North Atlantic island nation.

Mr Gunnlaugsson has denied any wrongdoing. His centre-right Progressive Party is in a coalition government with the Independence Party.

Arni Pall Arnason, leader of the Social Democratic Alliance, said the two parties in the governing coalition are desperately trying to hang on to power without public support.

He said: "What I think the government parties are trying to do is to cling onto power while doing the absolute minimum of changes in order to escape the public.

"The government doesn't want to confront the issue or face the public."

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