Roberto Calderoli, from the anti-immigration Northern League, told a rally that the success of Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge encouraged “illegal immigrants” to come to Italy.
Ms Kyenge is an Italian citizen born in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It is the latest in a series of rows over racism in Italy.
“I love animals – bears and wolves, as everyone knows – but when I see the pictures of Kyenge I cannot but think of, even if I’m not saying she is one, the features of an orangutan,”
Mr Calderoli said in a speech to a rally in the northern city of Treviso on Saturday.
He also said Ms Kyenge should be a minister “in her own country”.
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