Vicky Spratt | Deputy Editor | Wednesday, 6 September 2017

This Man Wants To Be Prime Minister And He Thinks Abortion Is \\\'Morally Indefensible\\\'

This Man Wants To Be Prime Minister And He Thinks Abortion Is 'Morally Indefensible'

The Debrief: Jacob Rees Mogg is a familiar type of character in our politics...

Despite her best efforts, speculation about a conservative leadership challenge persists for Theresa May. The esoteric Somerset MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has an army of social media followers who, hilariously, call themselves ‘Moggmentum’ and has recently been voted by Conservative Party members as a favourite contender in this fictional and non-existent contest. He himself deftly dismissed the speculation without ruling out a leadership bid, telling political gossip site Guido Fawkes ‘I’m not a candidate, there is not a vacancy. I fully support Theresa May and want her to continue.’ 

However, this didn’t stop him appearing on ITV’s Good Morning Britain to discuss his popularity. Political nerds will be aware of backbencher Rees-Mogg’s very conservative with-a -small- c, traditionalist and Catholic values based on his voting record but, today he aired his views on national television watched beyond the Westminster bubble for the first time in what may henceforth be known as his ‘Tim Farron Conservative Coming Out Moment’. 

Rees-Mogg told Susanna Reid and Piers Morgan that he is ‘completely opposed’ to abortion because ‘life begins at the point of conception’. When asked if he extended that stance to cases of rape and incest he said ‘I’m afraid so. Life is sacrosanct. It begins at the point of conception, and I think it is wrong.’ In his opinion, he said, ‘abortion is morally indefensible.’

Of course, the law disagrees with Rees-Mogg and he conceded on the programme that it is ‘unlikely’ to ever change. The backbencher also explained that he opposes same sex marriage because marriage is a ‘sacrament’. 

‘The teaching of the Catholic church is completely clear. The marriage issue is the important thing. This is now how people arrange their lives. It’s that marriage is a sacrament, and a sacrament is under the authority of the church, not of the state.’ This is a theological argument against same sex marriage and Rees-Mogg added ‘this is exactly the argument that Thomas More made in opposition to the marriage of Henry VII and Anne Boleyn’. He was referencing the catastrophic split in this country during The Reformation, as a result of Henry VIII’s wish to get a divorce, splitting away from the Catholic church and becoming Protestant. 

WATCH: The Debrief Speaks To Nick Clegg About Brexit 

None of this should come as any surprise to anyone because Jacob Rees-Mogg’s voting record clearly shows that he has consistently voted against equal gay rights, same sex marriage, as well as equality and human rights. There has been no major vote on abortion since he became an MP in 2010. 

Tim Farron’s religious views ultimately cut short his leadership of the Liberal Democrats, however, Rees-Mogg is confident that it won’t damage his chances because he thinks ‘the Conservatives are much more tolerant of religious faith, and so should they be. It’s all very well to say we live in a multicultural society’ he said ‘until you’re a Christian. Until you hold the traditional views of the Catholic church. That seems to be fundamentally wrong.’ 

Mogg is a familiar type of character in our politics. An affable, very posh and seemingly eccentric man who occasionally speaks in Latin, uses obscure polysyllabic words and reminds people of Britain’s invisible but ever-present social order. He could have been plucked right out of the 1500s and plonked into Parliament in 2017 as a history lesson, so it’s no wonder he looks back to that period to explain his positions or his politics. 

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Tags: Abortion, Politics