Nigel Farage would prefer women not to be "ostentatious" about breastfeeding

Ukip's woman problem laid bare.

Sign Up

Get the New Statesman\'s Morning Call email.

I'm not particularly bothered about it but I know a lot of people do feel very uncomfortable. And look, this is just a matter of common sense, isn't it? I think that given that some people feel very embarrassed by it, it isn't too difficult to breastfeed a baby in a way that's not openly ostentatious . . . Perhaps sit in the corner, or whatever it might be.

These are the words of male in a position of power Nigel Farage, when asked on LBC this morning about the controversial move by Claridge's hotel this week to tell a woman to cover up.

Although this comment is fraught with problems – first, and most obvious, being that women should be able to choose in what manner they would like to breastfeed – it is also politically rather foolish of Farage.

Ukip, though garnering support every day, is not nearly as popular among women as men. It has a clear "woman problem", something Farage admitted only last month, with the charming riposte: "What do you want me to do? Go sell flowers?"

The party has been polling consistently lower among female voters, a recent Survation poll earlier this month finding men are still more likely to vote Ukip at the general election than women are. Added to this polling problem is the party's blokey, golf club image, and sexist gaffes by its members, the most notable being now former Ukipper and ex-MEP Godfrey Bloom's comments about women being "sluts", and that they don't "clean behind the fridge" enough.

Farage's latest comments won't help him much with what is looking like the one constituency yet to be convinced by Ukip's so-called appeal.

Anoosh Chakelian is the New Statesman’s Britain editor.

She co-hosts the New Statesman podcast, discussing the latest in UK politics.

Free trial CSS