Breast-feeding mother ‘told to leave council headquarters because she would offend Muslim visitors’

  • The Daily Mail UK

  • Council says it has no obligation to provide facilities but then makes embarrassing U-turn

By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 4:31 PM on 13th July 2011

A breast-feeding mother has been ordered out of council offices after staff said it would ’cause an uproar’ among Muslim visitors, it has been claimed.

Emma Mitchell, 32, was about to feed her 19-week-old son, Aaron, when a receptionist at Oldham Civic Centre told her it was a ‘multicultural building’.

When she was told to use the toilets of a nearby shopping centre she argued with a manager before being offered an empty room under supervision.

Carer Emma Mitchell was told she couldn't breast-feed her five-month-old son AaronCarer Emma Mitchell was told she couldn’t breast-feed her five-month-old son Aaron

Ms Mitchell, a carer who is currently on maternity leave, said: ‘It was just awful. I felt humiliated, intimidated and guilty through the whole thing.

‘We all live in Oldham and we all use this building, and I was doing what was one of the most natural things a mum can do.



‘If someone from another culture started praying in the waiting room, I wouldn’t say, “Excuse me, you’re offending me” I would respect it because it’s their culture.

‘So I shouldn’t be made to feel what I wanted to do was wrong just because it’s not in their culture.

Labour Councillor Shoab Akhtar said Oldham Council supports the right of mothers to breastfeed their children and actively supports it due to the long-term health benefits it provides.

But he added: ‘Unfortunately there are no breast-feeding facilities available at Access Oldham based at the Civic Centre nor are there any public toilets or baby changing facilities.

‘There is no requirement to provide such facilities at Access Oldham and we are committed to make the best use of the limited space that is available to provide facilities and meeting rooms where we can deal with issues that affect local residents quickly and effectively.

Ms Mitchell was visiting the Citizens' Advice Bureau at Oldham councilMs Mitchell was visiting the Citizens’ Advice Bureau at Oldham council

‘Not every building is suitable for breast-feeding and that is the case with the very busy, open-plan layout of Access Oldham.’

However the council made an embarrassing U-turn later in the day with Cllr Akhtar issuing a second statement in which he made an ‘unreserved apology’ to Ms Mitchell.

He said: ‘We fully support the right of mothers to breastfeed their children and actively encourage this due to the long term health benefits it provides

‘Ms Mitchell’s disappointing experience has highlighted the need to make all our staff fully aware of our policy and our legal requirements. All staff will be trained in the coming days to ensure this never happens again.

‘We are contacting Ms Mitchell to unreservedly apologise for the unnecessary difficulty she experienced.

‘As previously stated, Access Oldham does not have dedicated breastfeeding facilities available, however staff are now aware that they should make every reasonable effort to assist a mother’s need to breastfeed – whether she requests the use of a private room or otherwise.

‘We always act on feedback from residents and are glad that this issue was brought to our attention.’

Ms Mitchell was visiting the Citizens’ Advice Bureau at the council’s headquarters and was using computers there to find a babysitter.

Baby Aaron started crying for food when she asked the receptionist if she could use an empty corner of the room to breastfeed.

‘She said “Oh no, we don’t allow that in here. We’ve had that many complaints that we don’t allow it.”

‘I told her my son was hungry and I didn’t want to have to go away and come back.’

According to Ms Mitchell a manager then said ‘You absolutely can’t do that here’

With young Aaron still crying a member of the complaints department was also called and she told her to wait while she spoke to the receptionist.

Eventually the woman from the complaints team took her to a small room and stood waiting with her, but Ms Mitchell said she could not carry on and had to finish feeding him in her car.

She added: ‘It’s political correctness gone mad when they’re worried about offending people of other cultures over something so natural.

‘You wouldn’t eat your dinner in the toilets, so why should my son?’

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11 Replies to “Breast-feeding mother ‘told to leave council headquarters because she would offend Muslim visitors’”

  1. Oldham is not ‘multicultural’; it is now one of the ‘occupied territories’; it is ‘unicultural’, and that culture is not our culture. We have been ethnically cleansed.

    But change must surely come to pass: This land is my land, it is our land, and the time is close when we must act to ensure these barbarians shall not have it.

    And may their god have mercy on them then, for I shall not.

  2. Fight back against the invaders with all your might! Stand up and if you have to take up arms do so! No to Islam and Sharia!

  3. Just confirms what we already knew, “multicultural” is meaningless. Actually, it’s dangerous, because in the language of Newspeak, a British mother engaging in the cultural tradition of feeding her baby in her own country is denied that right because it might offend the invaders. It’s fair to ask her to use a private area, but what the heck is a “multicultural building”?

    The idiot calling it a “multicultural building” reminds me of the muslim monkey we’ve all seen pictures of in Europe holding a sign that says “Freedom of Expression Go to Hell”. Duh, what does he think the sign is?

    Everywhere there is pandering to muslims, there’s cognitive dissonance.

  4. When moslems visitors were allowed to pray anywhere they like, even if it is obstructing public way or even to the extent of inconveniencing us nonbelievers public or causing us nonbelievers to feel uneasy, why can’t a non-moslem mother be allowed to breastfeed in a public building? And why is this mother made to feel uncomfortable and unwanted just because some moslems complaint? Those moslems can complaint as much as they like but this mother have a right to breastfeed in a public building.

  5. How strange! If only those people knew that it was the holy prophet of islam who ordered a mature man to suck the titties of a full grown woman, only to make those two sort of family together, so that there would not have been an undesirable relationship between the two. Because they would be considered to be like son and suckling-mother.

    If only they knew! The vulgar things that are allowed for moslems. By the way, a REAL multicultural community centre has to have a gutter to get rid of all the blood of the jews for when the youngest day comes around, and the jews have to be slaughtered. Allah will order the moslems to kill the jews then. Therefor, if there is no gutter, that community centre is not really multicultural, because it is not fit for moslems for when the time comes.

    How misinformed some people can be!

  6. It is increasingly become fashionable to listen to any complaint by a muslim. Still the Daily Mail does a good job in not hiding this issue unlike the BBC which is staffed by third world jihad killer wannabes posing as balanced reporters.

  7. EDL needs a march with hundreds of breast feeding moms flanked by EDL and gays as they march through the many many enclaves in Britain where no go areas exist

  8. “Dedicated breastfeeding facilities”? OMG. Since when are they necessary when an empty corner of the room would have done as is what this woman asked for? It’s unbelievable the amount of absurd hangups some people have. The only suitable response should have been directed at the Muslims- if they don’t like it, don’t look. Their religious/cultural obsession with sex and the resulting fact that because of it they can’t function under normal circumstances is no reason to expect everyone else to live by the low standards they’ve set for themselves.

  9. Before the islamic groups demand any more human rights from the West, they should first of all improve their islamic version of human rights for their own community and for us nonbelievers or for others who don’t believe in submitting to their inferior nonsense.
    For a long time due to the bad influence of those islamic political power or imposition from orientalist who were voluntarily or involunarily pro-islamic or due to islamic intimidation, many of us disadvantaged nonbelievers have been conditioned to be afraid of islamic complaints or forced to be subservient to islamic irrational demands and that is most unacceptable for the advancement of our free world.

  10. Kamal Chowdhury in the Oldham Council tax department has been advising his friends and family on how to avoid and reduce paying council tax.

    I am interested in knowning what action Oldham Council are/will take against this?

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