Page last updated at 00:27 GMT, Tuesday, 11 November 2008

'Nazi' remark presenter suspended

Jon Gaunt
The radio presenter is also a columnist for the Sun newspaper

A national radio station presenter has been suspended after calling a London councillor a "Nazi" and "ignorant pig" during a live debate.

Talksport is investigating presenter Jon Gaunt's comments to Redbridge councillor Michael Stark after "a number of complaints" from listeners.

Gaunt was interviewing the councillor about the authority's plan to ban smokers from fostering children.

The presenter, also a Sun columnist, spent time in care as a child.

A Talksport spokesman said the station had "taken the decision to suspend Jon Gaunt whilst the matter is investigated".

He added: "When we have all the facts at our disposal, we will take whatever action, if any, that we deem appropriate."

During the debate on Friday, Mr Stark defended the ban due in 2010 by saying that children's welfare should be put ahead of the needs of foster families.

Gaunt argued that children in care would be deprived of chances to be fostered.

Redbridge Council, in north-east London, voted unanimously in favour of the ban last week.

It said it wanted to protect children from "the damaging effects of passive and second-hand smoke".

The Fostering Network charity responded: "We certainly view this as a good move in terms of creating a smoke-free environment for a child, but we don't agree that a blanket ban on any smokers becoming foster carers is the right thing."

Gaunt is a former BBC radio presenter, winning three Sony Radio Academy Awards in 2001 while at BBC Three Counties Radio.

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