Andrea Leadsom apologised to Theresa May over 'mother' remarks

Posted On: 
11th July 2016

Conservative leadership hopeful Andrea Leadsom has apologised to her rival Theresa May after suggesting that being a mother would make her a better Prime Minister.

Tory leadership rivals Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom
Credit: 
PA Images

"I've already said to Theresa how very sorry I am for any hurt I have caused,” she told the Daily Telegraph, but insisted her words were misconstrued.

The row began after the Energy Minister said in a Times interview: "Genuinely I feel that being a mum means you have a very real stake in the future of our country, a tangible stake."

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In the article, Ms Leadsom claimed Ms May must be “really sad” that she is unable to have children.

She added that the Home Secretary “possibly has nieces, nephews, lots of people. But I have children who are going to have children who will directly be a part of what happens next.”

The paper headlined its front-page lead story "Being a mother gives me edge on May - Leadsom."

Tory MPs who are backing Ms May lined up to call for Brexit campaigner Ms Leadsom to quit the race for showing a lack of judgement.

But top Tory Iain Duncan Smith, who supports Ms Leadsom, accused MPs of launching a "black ops" operation against her.

After the row dominated the Sunday shows for the Tories yesterday, Ms Leadsom told the Telegraph:

“I’ve already said to Theresa how very sorry I am for any hurt I have caused and how that article said completely the opposite of what I said and believe.”

She added: “I absolutely said, what I specifically said, is that motherhood should not play a part in the campaign...

“I was pressed to say how my children had formed my views. I didn’t want it to be used as an issue.

“Having children has no bearing on the ability to be PM. I deeply regret that anyone has got the impression that I think otherwise.”