One of Italy's most popular politicians, the comedian Beppe Grillo, took a swipe at Sadiq Khan, saying London's first Muslim mayor would "blow himself up in front of Westminster".

Racist and misogynist humour is not uncommon within extreme parties in Italian politics, but the remark by the head of the Five Star Movement (M5S), an anti-establishment party founded by Grillo in 2009, came as his own party's candidate, Virginia Raggi, is the leading contender to become the next mayor of Rome.

Grillo was performing at a show on Saturday night in Padua when he went out of his way to praise the rise of the "Bangladeshi" Khan – the Labour mayor's family were originally from Pakistan – and said it proved one must never stop dreaming. Then he added the sarcastic jibe: "Now I want to see when he blows himself up in front of Westminster."

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