Guess what, most people support breastfeeding in public

Somewhat surprisingly for a civilised society in the 21st century, there is still somehow a debate about breastfeeding in public in the UK.

It reappeared into our lives last week when Nigel Farage said women should not be "openly ostentatious" while breastfeeding.

This was in response to luxury hotel Claridge's asking a customer to cover herself with a shroud while breastfeeding her three-month-old daughter in its café.

Ukip leader Farage had told LBC while he himself had no problem with women who breastfeed in public, he knew "a lot of people do feel very uncomfortable" and suggested asking mothers to "perhaps sit in a corner".

Writing in his Sun column this Saturday, Jeremy Clarkson, another noted expert on motherhood and childhood health, said breastfeeding "is natural" (our emphasis).

But then he went on to write "… just like urinating. But when we want to do that, we go to a little room and do it in private".

Today Boris Johnson decided to join in, saying mothers should be "discreet" when feeding their babies in public.

When asked by LBC's Nick Ferrari whether he agreed with Claridge's decision, the London mayor said: "I don't know about this, I wasn't there and it wasn't clear to me how much of her breast was exposed."

He went on to say: "It depends how you do it, in my view. I think you can do it in a sort of discreet way, I think Claridge's were a little bit clumsy in the way that they wade in. But what do I know?"

With all that in mind, it may surprise you to learn that, in fact, the majority of Britons have no problem with breastfeeding in public at all, as this chart from Statista, based on YouGov figures, shows.

(Click here for a larger version of the chart)

So in one corner we have Nigel Farage, Jeremy Clarkson and Boris Johnson, and the other around 75 per cent of the population.


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