05/12/2014 12:39 GMT | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

Nigel Farage Says Breastfeeding Mothers Should Sit In A Corner And Not Be 'Openly Ostentatious'


Nigel Farage has said the breastfeeding mothers should 'sit in the corner' and not feed their babies in an 'ostentatious' way.

The UKIP leader said that while he personally was 'not bothered' by breastfeeding, mothers should be aware that public breastfeeding makes some people - particularly those from 'the older generation' - 'very uncomfortable' and 'very, very embarrassed.'

He added that cafés and restaurants should be free to impose rules about how and where women can breastfeed, and he defended luxury Mayfair hotel Claridge's after its staff gave new mum Lou Burns a giant napkin to cover up as she breastfed her 12-week-old daughter Isadora.

When asked on LBC radio how he would feel if a woman started to breastfeed in front of him as he was enjoying a pint at his local pub or a cup of tea in Claridge's, Farage said:

"I am not particularly bothered about it, but I know a lot of people do feel very uncomfortable. Look, this is just a matter of common sense."

The interviewer clearly didn't think it was a matter of common sense and asked Farage what exactly he thought was 'common sense' about breastfeeding in public.

"I think that given some people are very, very embarrassed by it," Farage explained. "It isn't too difficult to breastfeed a baby in a way that's not openly ostentatious."

Farage defended the hotel's right to tell customers how to behave. "Frankly that's up to Claridges. I very much take the view that if you are running an establishment you should have rules," he said.

Asked if women should be told to go to the toilet to breastfeed, Farage replied: "Or perhaps sit in the corner, or whatever it might be – that's up to Claridge's.

"It's not an issue that I get terribly hung-up about, but I know particularly people of the older generation feel awkward and embarrassed by it."

The hashtag #ostentatiousbreastfeeding began trending on Twitter shortly after Farage's radio remarks.

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