More than two thirds of Conservative councillors believe legislation on abortion should be a matter for Northern Ireland’s politicians to decide, a poll has revealed.
The ComRes poll of more than 500 Conservative councillors showed strong support for devolution, and the Northern Irish people’s right to make their own laws on abortion.
Support was particularly high among councillors from Scotland and Wales, with 86 per cent supporting the right of Northern Ireland to legislate on abortion.
It comes as Westminster politicians voted in favour of overturning the Province’s strong pro-life protections in favour of introducing abortion.
But while Westminster has been keen to push these changes through, this view is not shared by grassroots supporters.
The survey strongly reflects previous polling, which showed 66 per cent of Northern Irish women believe legislation on abortion should be decided by Northern Ireland’s representatives.
Clare McCarthy, of pro-life group Right to Life, said imposing abortion on the Province “will be very unpopular among the Conservative Party membership”.
“This shows that there is very strong support for respecting devolution and that any changes in Northern Ireland’s abortion laws should be made in Northern Ireland, not imposed by Westminster.”
She added: “It is a reminder to the Government in Westminster that abortion remains a devolved issue in Northern Ireland.
“They have no mandate from the people of Northern Ireland to make any changes to Northern Ireland’s laws on abortion and all laws and policy regarding that issue should be decided by the people of Northern Ireland through their elected representatives.”