Jeremy Hunt has suggested that he may support new legislation to halve the legal abortion limit from 24 to 12 weeks despite insisting that if he became prime minister, he would not change the law as government policy.
However when BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg asked if he could support an individual private member’s bill (brought forth by backbenchers) he refused to rule it out.
Hunt said his decision would be a “matter of conscience.”
Kuenssberg asked him: “If an MP put forward legislation to cut the time limit on abortion would you vote to do that?”
He replied: “Well, how I voted before is a matter of public record.”
As you say I’ve been very clear that as prime minister I wouldn’t seek to change the law. I didn’t as health secretary either.
How I voted in any future private member’s bill would be a matter of conscience and I would have to see what that bill is before I make that decision.
The prime minister hopeful added: “I’d have to look at what the bill was but I think for people watching the programme, what they want to know is as PM I recognise this is a free vote matter and I wouldn’t seek to change the law.”
His comments have made people uneasy.
Hunt's comments come two days after he refused to say why he supports reducing the abortion limit to 12 weeks.
The former health secretary clashed with Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on Good Morning Britain after he repeatedly refused to answer the question, citing only that it's his "personal views."
“It would be fine to get into that discussion Piers if it was something I wanted to change as prime minister, but I don’t and it’s a personal view,” he said.
It’s a free vote matter in the House of Commons and the House of Commons isn’t going to change its mind.
I’m not going to seek to change the law and when I was health secretary for longer than anyone else I didn’t seek to change the law so that’s why.