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LONDON – The current Conservative favourite to replace Theresa May as prime minister has said he is against abortion being allowed in any circumstances, including for rape victims. Jacob Rees Mogg also reiterated his opposition to gay marriage.
The Conservative MP, who has been tipped as a favourite for Conservative leader, made the comments on ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Wednesday morning.
When asked whether he was in favour of same-sex marriage, which has been legal in the UK since 2014, Rees-Mogg said: “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.”
He also said that he was “completely opposed” to abortion, which was first made legal in the UK in 1967.
The backbench MP for North East Somerset said: “I am completely opposed to abortion, 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.”
When pressed on whether he was against it in all circumstances, including rape, he said: “I’m afraid so.”
Rees-Mogg said that his religious views and the teachings of the Catholic Church did not have to be in tune with UK law and that the law on abortion would not change.
In a poll released this week by the Conservative Home website, he was the favourite among Conservative members to replace Theresa May as Tory leader with 23% of the vote.
Discussing the rumours of a potential leadership bid the MP said: “This is all good silly season stuff, it was fun in August when there wasn’t much news about.”
He also backed the prime minister, saying: “I fully support Mrs May, I want her to remain leader of the Tory party, there isn’t a leadership election and if there were I would not be a candidate.”