George Hook has been suspended from Newstalk radio, following controversy over comments he made about rape.

Newstalk issued a statement saying: "Newstalk has confirmed that George Hook has been suspended from his duties at the station. The process regarding his comments last week is ongoing."

The remarks, which related to a rape case in the UK, caused widespread condemnation.

Mr Hook has apologised for the comments and said it was "unacceptable to suggest that blame could be attributed to victims of rape".

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he strongly disagreed with Mr Hook's comments.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland he said he abhorred the comments Mr Hook made, and acknowledged that the broadcaster has since apologised profusely.

"I think he does understand that what he said was unacceptable," the Taoiseach said.

Mr Varadkar said he thinks the comments that were made by Mr Hook are indicative of attitudes that still exist in Irish society that need to change.

Earlier this week a number of members of staff at Newstalk drafted a letter of protest asking that Mr Hook be taken off air.

It is thought this letter, which was seen by RTÉ News, was not formally handed to management.

A number of commercial partners have withdrawn support due to the controversy, including the Dalata Hotel group which sponsored Mr Hook's High Noon programme.

The National Women's Council of Ireland has welcomed the decision to suspend Mr Hook.

In a statement, Orla O'Connor, director of the NWCI, said "it shows that Newstalk is taking the matter seriously, and that they are aware of the extremely damaging impact these remarks have on women who have experienced rape."