Matteo Salvini, Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the far-right League Party, speaks as he launches campaigning for the European elections, in Milan, Italy April 8, 2019. REUTERS/ALESSANDRO GAROFALO/FILE PHOTO
Far-right Italian leader Matteo Salvini lost a shirt button and a rosary chain Wednesday after a scuffle with a young woman while campaigning in Tuscany ahead of regional polls later this month.
The incident happened in Pontassieve just outside Florence, as Salvini arrived ahead of campaigning for his anti-immigrant League party.
Video images show the woman, said to be from the Congo, grabbing Salvini by the shirt and shoving him, before shouting “I curse you” in Italian.
She was quickly removed by police who later told the Italian ANSA news agency she was in a disturbed state.
They added that her actions did not appear to have been premeditated and it seemed she had just happened to find herself alongside Salvini as she was returning from work.
“Everybody may have different political, football or religious ideas but not violence,” Salvini, a former hardline interior minister told ANSA after the incident.
Tuscany is one of seven Italian regions going to the polls to elect new governors and governments on September 20 and 21.
The region, known for its scenic rolling hills and Chianti wine has for decades been considered a bastion of the left.
Salvini’s League party however is trying to take over the region with candidates neck-and-neck in the latest polls.