Monday 26 September 2016

BBC DJ allowed back on air after row over 'unnatural' breastfeeding comment

Published 19/08/2015 | 16:48

The BBC DJ said that breastfeeding should not be done in public
The BBC DJ said that breastfeeding should not be done in public

A BBC radio DJ who was suspended for saying that breastfeeding in public was "unnatural" has been told he can return to the airwaves.

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The comments by Alex Dyke on BBC Radio Solent sparked an online petition which topped 6,000 signatories after his comments which included him saying that "librarian-type moustached" women should not breastfeed in public.

A BBC spokeswoman said: "Following serious consideration Alex Dyke will return to BBC Radio Solent tomorrow.

"Alex has been told in no uncertain terms that his comments were unacceptable, and he has apologised for any offence caused on and off air."

During his show on August 12, Mr Dyke's comments included: "It is 2015. Ladies, mums, we don't like breastfeeding in public, honestly we don't. I experienced this yesterday. I was on a bus and there was a lady on this bus. She was quite a big girl and she had a toddler with her. She starts to breastfeed her baby on the bus. I didn't know where to look. She's putting me in an embarrassing situation.

"I didn't really realise what was going on. I just thought she was cuddling a baby and then I looked over and I realised. I wanted to look away but the bus was packed. Breastfeeding is unnatural. I know its natural but it's kind of unnatural.

"It's the kind of thing which should be done in a quiet and private nursery. We don't want it in public. It was OK in the Stone Age when we knew no better and people didn't even have their own teeth. A public area is not the place for it. It's not a great look."

Mr Dyke also said: "Making love is the most natural thing in the world but you wouldn't do it on the number 15. I blame the Earth-mothers, the ones who wear hessian."

His comments led to criticism on social media and from the National Childbirth Trust whose senior policy adviser Rosemary Dodds said: "Mums feel under enough pressure already about their feeding decisions and they should be fully supported and certainly not looked down on or criticised for simply feeding their child in whichever way they want, in public or in private.

"The Equality Act which became law in 2010 states that mothers cannot be discriminated against, asked to leave a venue or treated unfavourably because they are breastfeeding when out and about in Britain. This is something we campaigned for over a number of years as mums should be able to feed their babies whenever and wherever they need to."

Press Association

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