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Jacob Rees-Mogg ‘saddened’ by Irish abortion result

Jacob Rees-Mogg (Getty Images)

Jacob Rees-Mogg has said he was “saddened” by the result of the Irish abortion referendum, becoming one of the few British politicians to express regret at the outcome.

“I believe that life starts at the point of conception,” he told LBC radio, adding that “life inside the womb is worth protecting.”

He also warned the government against interfering in Northern Ireland’s abortion laws, saying it was “dangerous” to ignore the UK’s constitutional settlement.

“I’m aware that the [Northern Irish] Assembly isn’t currently sitting, but this is one of the reasons for encouraging the Northern Ireland politicians to bring their Assembly back together – so they can settle these issues that are their responsibility,” he said.

“What if this was Scotland?” he added. “What would be the result in Scotland if some English politicians decided they would overturn the policy of the SNP?”

He also criticised Labour’s Shadow Attorney General Baroness Chakrabarti for calling on Prime Minister Theresa May for show her “feminist credentials” by imposing abortion on Northern Ireland.

“Baroness Chakrabarti is ignoring the devolution settlement. How the constitution works is important, it’s how democracy is defended and operates,” he said.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said the Northern Irish Assembly should settle abortion law, and that the government was working to get the assembly re-established.