He said he profits in a 'very roundabout way' but has no personal investment
Catholic MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has been accused of profiting from the sale of pills that are sometimes used illegally for abortions in Indonesia.
The Conservative MP was criticised in the secular media last month after saying he supports Church teaching that abortion is not morally permissible in any circumstances.
However, the Sunday Mirror has reported that Mr Rees-Mogg’s investment firm holds a £5 million stake in pharmaceutical company Kalbe Farma which produces the drug misoprostol – marketed as Invitec.
The drug is marketed to treat stomach ulcers but can also be used illegally as an abortifacient.
Mr Rees-Mogg co-founded Somerset Capital Management in 2007, but has not managed investments since becoming an MP in 2010. None of his own money is invested in Kalbe Farma.
However, he did accept he profits “in a very roundabout way”.
“It would be wrong to pretend that I like it but the world is not always what you want it to be,” he said.
“Kalbe Farma obeys Indonesian law so it’s a legitimate investment and there’s no hypocrisy. The law in Indonesia would satisfy the Vatican.”
“I don’t manage the funds and haven’t done so since I became an MP. But the funds have to be run in accordance with the requirements of the investors and not according to my religious beliefs,” he added.
“This is not something I would wish to invest in personally but you have a duty as an investment manager not to impose constraints on investors.”
He said the firm does not procure the abortion of babies, and emphasised it was not his money in the investments.
“I profit from the total amount of client money we hold, not the investments we make,” he said.