A British MP has come under fire for saying he opposes abortion in all circumstances and that he disagrees with same-sex marriage.
In an interview on Good Morning Britain, Jacob Rees-Mogg said he was “completely opposed to abortion.” When asked to clarify if this also included cases of rape and incest, he responded “Afraid so.”
Rees-Mogg occasionally has been rumored to become British Prime Minister Theresa May’s eventual replacement as head of the Tory party, although many others believe that despite his following in the party, he has no ministerial experience and other members of parliament might find un-electable.
During the recent interview, he was also asked about his views on marriage and invoked his Catholic faith in response.
“I take the teaching of the Catholic Church seriously,” he said. “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 added.
His remarks have created an uproar throughout Britain in recent days. Some labeled his views as “Trumpian” and members of his party have sought to distance themselves from the Tory MP.
Fellow Tory MP Margot James derided his views as “utterly abhorrent” and Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said it could be a “tipping point” in Rees-Mogg’s career.
Meanwhile, Ann Widdecombe, a former Conservative MP who is also a practicing Catholic came to his defense. His views are “nothing like as rare as you may think,” she told BBC Radio. She also predicted that this would not damage Rees-Mogg’s political career.
In response to the controversy, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s office defended the right for Rees-Mogg to hold such a view, while also stressing that the Prime Minister disagreed with him.
“It’s a long-standing principle that abortion is for Parliament and for individual MPs and is a matter of conscience for them,” the spokesperson said.