Soubry criticises Rees-Mogg over abortion on women's vote centenary

6 February 2018, 11:07

Tory MP Anna Soubry has used the centenary of some women being granted the vote to call out colleague Jacob Rees-Mogg for his views on women's rights.

Ms Soubry, a former business minister, said she "couldn't stay in a party" led by Mr Rees-Mogg, an ardent Brexiteer and one of the favourites to be next Tory leader, because of comments he has made on abortion.

Her intervention came on the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act, which first gave some women the right to vote.

Ms Soubry criticised "somebody who says that he's had six children and never changed a nappy" and "somebody who says that even if you've been raped by your own father you couldn't choose to have a termination".

She told ITV's Good Morning Britain: "I'm sorry, but I couldn't stay in a party led by someone like him."

Mr Rees-Mogg has previously said that he is "opposed to abortion in all circumstances".

Speaking last year, the North East Somerset MP said that his "personal opinion is that life begins at the point of conception and that abortion is morally indefensible", even in the case of rape and incest.

He has also hinted that he is not allowed to pick up his children without permission from their nanny.

Ms Soubry, who has rebelled against her party on Brexit, was speaking after telling BBC's Newsnight that she would not "stay in a party which has been taken over by the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson."

"I'm really cheesed off about how the whole Brexit thing is going because it feels like Theresa is in hock, that's the word I've used, to these 35 hard Brexiteers".

She claimed that Mr Rees-Mogg, and other hard Brexiteers like Mr Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, "don't represent (the) party, but more importantly, they don't represent people who voted Leave."

It comes as the Prime Minister struggles to contain a war of words between the Remain and Leave factions within her party.

Theresa May has ruled out any form of customs union after Brexit, angering the Remainers in her party.

Leavers are worried about some negotiating terms, such as freedom of movement until 2020.