Jeremy Hunt has ruled out any changes to abortion law if he becomes the UK's next prime minister. The Tory leadership contender has been criticised after saying his "personal view" was that the legal time limit for an abortion should be reduced from 24 weeks to 12. But he said, "No government I lead will ever seek to change the law on abortion." The foreign secretary made the comment at his leadership campaign launch.
Mr Hunt was introduced by one of his key backers, Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd, who said earlier she had been "reassured" by the candidate he would not change the abortion law. He is one of 11 candidates in the race, which will also choose the next PM - nominations for the contest close.
Mr Hunt's fellow contender, Dominic Raab, told his own campaign launch he would not change the law on abortion, saying it was "broadly right". He added: "I wouldn't change it and I tend to advocate things as a politician that I believe in my private life as well."
Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine said the foreign secretary's personal views were "incredibly alarming", while Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described the leadership contest as a "horror show", which included "attacks on abortion rights". And former Tory MP Nick Boles - who now sits as an independent - asked on Twitter if leadership candidates had "taken leave of their senses".