Tens of thousands of right-wing Italian protesters took to the streets of Rome on Saturday to show their opposition to the nation’s new government after the ousting of Matteo Salvini’s League party.

Marchers filled Piazza San Giovanni – traditionally a place of protest for left wing and trade union movements – as the former deputy prime minister and his allies spoke from a podium in front of the words “Italian Pride - A home to love and defend”.

"This is the Italy that works and suffers, that dreams and hopes," he said “we are the people against the elite, we will change the history of this country".

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The League party were removed from power in August when Mr Salvini, encouraged by his surging poll ratings, pulled out in a failed bid to trigger elections he hoped would crown him as the new prime minister.

Instead 5-Star formed a new coalition with the centre-left Democratic Party.

Now, speaking alongside former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi - whose influence has begun to wane - and the leader of the Brothers of Italy party Giorgia Meloni – a rising star on the right – Mr Salvini said the League would find its way back into power.

"We will return to the government soon, through the front door, without tricks and without deception.” he told the crowd – which he placed at 200,000 strong despite official police figures placing the turnout at closer to 50,000.

The League remains Italy’s most popular political party despite losing some support in the wake of Mr Salvini’s resignation.

However the coalition of the Italian Left currently in power has been able to garner an equal amount of support to the centre right parties represented at the Rome rally.

During his turn on the microphone Mr Berlusconi accused the government of being the “most leftist in our history”.

He added that he had entered the political arena a quarter of a century before to fight “communists” and that he believed the threat of such forces entering the country was greater now than it was before.

“We are here to stop this dangerous government” he added “Italy wants to be governed by us”.

Mr Berlusconi, who was convicted of tax fraud in 2013, said he was particularly worried by the new coalition's pledge to ensure prison sentences for large-scale tax dodgers – adding that he wanted to serve “notice of eviction to the government of taxes and handcuffs”.

The former prime minister and the League chief have maintained a fractious relationship, with Mr Salvini often calling on the octogenarian populist to bolster his poll number only to cast his Forza Italia movement aside when politically convenient.

"Thank you Silvio for the battles you have fought and the battles we will fight," Mr Salvini said, promising they would remain united to "win together."

Additional reporting by Reuters.

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