TORY backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg tipped as future party leader and successor to Theresa May as Prime Minister has said he is opposed to abortion in all circumstances, including after rape and incest.

Rees-Mogg said terminating a pregnancy is “morally indefensible” when he was pressed on his views in a television interview.

“I’m completely opposed to abortion. Life begins at the point of conception,” said the multi-millionaire MP for North East Somerset.

Asked if he was opposed to abortion in all circumstances, including rape and incest, he told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “Yes I am. I’m afraid so. Life is sacrosanct and begins at the point of conception and I think it is wrong.”

Questioned on whether this meant a woman who was raped had no right to an abortion he said: “No, she would have a right under UK law. But that law is not going to change.

“My personal opinion is that life begins at the point of conception and abortion is morally indefensible.

“I wouldn’t (stop her having an abortion) because that wouldn’t be the law of the land.”

Rees-Mogg also told the programme that he was against same sex marriage as he is a committed Catholic.

A spokesman for abortion provider Marie Stopes International said: “Mr Rees-Mogg is entitled to his opinion. It does nothing to change the fact women in the UK have benefited from access to safe and legal abortion for 50 years, and will continue to do so.

“Restricting access to abortion only makes it more likely women will risk their health and their lives through dangerous backstreet procedures.

“Our teams around the world deal with the terrible impact of this every day. No one should be seeking to replicate this situation in the UK.”

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (bpas) said Rees-Mogg’s “extreme” views are “wildly at odds” with public opinion and highlighted MPs’ support for extending abortion access for women resident in Northern Ireland.

Katherine O’Brien, head of policy research at bpas, said: “Rees-Mogg’s stance on abortion is quite simply extreme, and extremely out-of-touch.”

Mogg topped a poll of ConservativeHome readers on who should succeed May as party leader but insisted he is not a candidate.