Italian deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini has said he is “sad, but content” following the end of his relationship with television presenter Elisa Isoardi.

Mr Salvini made the statement after Ms Isoardi announced their split on the platform with a selfie of them in bed.

Beneath the picture, she wrote: ”It’s not what we gave each other that I will miss but what we still could have given each other … With enormous respect for the true love that was, thank you, Matteo.”

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The politician, who has used social media to boost support for his anti-immigration party and has more than 900,000 Instagram followers, later posted a photo on Instagram of himself smiling next to some pink flowers.

“Night Friends, I go to bed certainly sad but content,” he said. “Thanks thanks thanks.”

Mr Salvini, who is also the Italian interior minister and leader of the anti-immigrant League party, was on a flight to Ghana to discuss migrants when Ms Isoardi announced their relationship had ended.

Following the post, Mr Salvini said on Facebook: “Busy working day in Africa on the immigration and security front, but the phone from Italy is ringing about other matters.

“I never threw my private life in the square, I won’t start doing it now, Italians don’t care. I loved, I forgave, surely I also made mistakes but I believed it all the way.”

During their three-year relationship, Mr Salvini and Ms Isoardi often featured on the covers of Italian gossip magazines.

Ms Isoardi told Chi magazine the relationship ended two and a half months ago, but she only decided to go public recently.

“Why did we break up? We were far apart due to the commitments we both have,” she said.

A poll showed last week that most Italians viewed Mr Salvini as the real head of government, with just one in six casting Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte the role.

Mr Salvini has led a crackdown on immigration since assuming office in June, closing Italy’s ports to migrant and refugee ships travelling from Libya.

The policy has placed a strain on the relationship between Rome and other EU nations and led him to be likened to Pontius Pilate by a French minister.

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