Jacob Rees-Mogg has said he completely opposes abortion and believes it to be “morally indefensible” – even after a woman has been raped.
The incendiary comments from the prominent Conservative backbencher come after a survey of party members placed Mr Rees-Mogg as favourite to replace Theresa May as Prime Minister.
The MP for North East Somerset also told Good Morning Britain he remained opposed to same-sex marriage after voting against the passing of the historic legislation in 2013.
Pressed on his views on same-sex marriage, Mr Rees-Mogg replied: “I’m a Catholic, I take the teaching of the Catholic church seriously. Marriage is a sacrament and the view of what marriage is is taken by the Church, not Parliament.
On abortion, he continued: “I am completely opposed to abortion ... With same-sex marriage, that is something that people are doing for themselves. With abortion, that is what people are doing to the unborn child.”
Asked whether he would still be against termination in all circumstances, including rape, he said: “Afraid so.”
“Life begins at the point of conception and the abortion is morally indefensible,” he added.
On Tuesday, a survey for the Conservative Home website found that more than 22 per cent of party members believed the Etonian alumnus should be the next leader of the party, while David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, enjoyed the support of 15 per cent of members.
But in recent days Mr Rees-Mogg has played down leadership ambitions, and hinted he would turn down a ministerial job if offered one by the Prime Minister in the coming months.
Asked on Monday whether he was ambitious for a Government role, the eccentric MP for North East Somerset replied: “I’m not ambitious to do anything other than to get returned in North East Somerset and to contribute to develop the ideas in the Conservative party.”
“In a way, you have a great deal more freedom to discuss issues from the backbenches because I’m not bound by collective responsibility,” he added.
“I don’t have constraints upon me as to what I’m allowed to say or not allowed, and that is perhaps an easier position to be in to discuss broad issues rather than ministers who are, quite rightly, confined to their own subject area.”
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