Tory favourite Rees-Mogg says he opposes same sex marriage and abortion in all circumstances – including rape

Jacob Rees-MoggWikimedia Commons

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the right-wing Conservative MP who has in recent weeks been tipped as a future Tory leader and prime minister, has said that he is opposed to same sex marriage and abortion in any circumstances including rape.

Rees-Mogg, who is a Catholic and the party's grassroots' favoured candidate to succeed Theresa May, today told ITV's Good Morning Britain: '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. I support the teaching of the Catholic church. The marriage issue is the important thing, this is not how people arrange their lives.'

The Old Etonian backbench MP, who has become increasingly fashionable in the media, also said that he was 'completely opposed to abortion,' underlining his belief that life begins at the point of conception.

'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,' the father of six said.

Asked whether he would be against terminations in all circumstances including that of rape, he replied: 'Afraid so.'

The MP, who recently topped a ConservativeHome poll of Conservative party members as their preferred next prime minister, called speculation about the leadership 'all good silly season stuff. It was fun in August when there wasn't much news about.'

He added: 'I fully support Mrs May; I want her to remain leader of the Tory party.'

However, he declined to rule out a leadership bid in the future, saying: 'I am a backbench MP . In the history of the prime ministership [it] has never gone to a backbench MP. It would be a vanity for me to be thinking about the leadership.'

Rees-Mogg faced criticism today from 'pro-choice' campaigners over his comments on abortion. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Bpas) said Rees-Mogg's 'extreme' views were 'wildly at odds' with public opinion.

The group highlighted the decriminalisation this year of abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, and MPs' support for extending abortion access for women resident in Northern Ireland.

The head of policy research at Bpas, Katherine O'Brien said: 'We are a pro-choice country, we have a pro-choice parliament. Rees-Mogg's stance on abortion is quite simply extreme, and extremely out of touch.

'Every politician is entitled to hold their own opinion on abortion. But what matters is whether they would let their own personal convictions stand in the way of women's ability to act on their own.'

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