Brazil's President Temer 'taped agreeing £120m in bribes'

A demonstrator carries a sign that reads in Portuguese

A demonstrator carries a sign that reads in Portuguese

Brazil's political crisis deepened sharply on Thursday with corruption allegations th. Temer is denying a report that he endorsed the alleged bribing of a jailed former congressman to keep him quiet.

If Temer eventually resigns or is impeached, Brazil's constitution calls for the leader of the lower house to temporarily take over and for Congress to name a successor within 30 days.

"I won't resign, and I demand that everything be fully cleared up", the head of state said in a message to the nation from the Planalto presidential palace. "There are just too many people against him now".

The country's Bovespa stock index fell in Sao Paulo trading by about 10.5 percent, forcing a temporary trade stop for stocks. The Brazilian Real lost 8 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar in the first half of the day. And a third of the Senate is now being probed in the "Operation Car Wash" investigation that has uncovered massive bribery and embezzlement in Brazil's elite - with Temer's probe being just the latest offshoot. He has denied wrongdoing.

Globo reported late on Wednesday that Mr Neves had been recorded asking JBS meat-packing company executive Joesley Batista for 700,000 USA dollars (£540,000) to pay for his "Car Wash" defence.

A plunge in Brazilian stocks reverberated across emerging markets on Thursday, providing another reminder of the high risks associated with developing countries even when their economies are on the mend.

President Michel Temer's one-year-old government has been hit broadside by allegations that he may have obstructed justice by endorsing payment of hush money to a defendant in Brazil's sprawling "Car Wash" corruption investigation.

Cunha led the impeachment fight that removed Dilma Rousseff from the presidency previous year and put Temer, then the vice president, into power.

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The Podemos party said Thursday that its 13 members in the lower house have left the governing coalition.

When the audio recording was released to the public on Thursday it did not appear to contain any explosive proof that Temer committed a crime.

If confirmed, the allegations could prove devastating for Mr Temer, whose administration has lurched from one crisis to another since he took office just over a year ago. According to Joesley Batista, Temer bought operator Lucio Funaro and Cunha's silence, who is imprisoned and sentenced to 15 years for corruption, money laundering and evasion of currency in the context of the Lava Jato anti-corruption operation.

Also on Thursday, Janot asked the Supreme Court's permission to arrest Senator Aecio Neves, a key government ally who lost the 2014 presidential election against former president Dilma Rousseff.

The first man then says: "You have to keep that up, see?"

Leading politicians and a third of Temer's cabinet have already been caught up in the investigation of systematic bribery in return for political favours and contracts with state-run enterprises. Both chambers of Congress cancelled sessions and Mr Temer's office axed his planned activities.

Meanwhile, Temer's latest approval rate was staggering four per cent.

"That's why today the main question is to know whether the parties that form the government's base will leave", said Thomaz Pereira, constitutional law professor at the Getulio Vargas Foundation in Rio.

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