Spanish parliament plenary session in Madrid. | JUAN MEDINA


The leader of Spain's main opposition People's Party resisted pressure to resign immediately at a marathon meeting with party barons on Wednesday night, amid a tussle in the party that threatens to strengthen the hand of the country's far right.

Pablo Casado, 41, instead agreed not to run again at the party's congress, slated to be held on April 2 and 3.

The row broke out last week after Isabel Diaz Ayuso, the popular regional PP leader of the capital Madrid, claimed Casado and allies ordered the secret gathering of evidence of corruption against her and her entrepreneur brother over a contract to buy COVID face masks.

Ayuso has denied any wrongdoing, and the anti-corruption prosecutor's office opened an investigation into the case.

On Wednesday, Casado made a farewell speech in congress. Spain's right-leaning El Mundo reported that 16 of the PP's 17 regional leaders would request Casado's resignation at the Wednesday meeting.