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UK latest: Leadsom apologises for 'motherhood' remarks, says she's "been under enormous pressure"

Meanwhile, Labour’s Angela Eagle is expected to launch a leadership challenge to Jeremy Corbyn today.

Conservative leadership bid Andrea Leadsom Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

UK CONSERVATIVE PARTY leadership contestant and would-be prime minister Andrea Leadsom has apologised for certain remarks she made regarding ‘motherhood’ and her immediate rival Theresa May.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph today, Leadsom says 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,” she said.

According to interviewer Allison Pearson, Leadsom had very evidently been crying immediately prior to their conversation.

Conservative leadership bid Theresa May Source: Jonathan Brady

“I’ve already said to Theresa how very sorry I am,” Leadsom said.

That article said completely the opposite of what I said and believe.

Leadsom added that since the story first broke on Saturday she has felt: “under attack, under enormous pressure. It has been shattering.”

The controversy first sprang to life following an interview given to the UK Times on Saturday in which Leadsom appeared to say that her status as a mother gives her an edge in the Tory leadership contest. Theresa May is unable to have children.

Immediately following that interview Leadsom claimed she had been misrepresented. However, the Times subsequently released an audio transcript of the interview which appeared to back up the paper’s story.

Challenge

Leadsom balloted 84 votes in the latest leadership poll among the Tory parliamentary party last Thursday. Theresa May secured the backing of 199 MPs, while Michael Gove was eliminated with just 46.

The former financial services executive has been similarly criticised for allegedly exaggerating her economic qualifications to be prime minister.

Meanwhile, the Labour Party this morning appears set for a leadership contest of its own, with former business spokesperson Angela Eagle set to announce a formal challenge to Jeremy Corbyn today.

Eagle was one of the first members of Corbyn’s shadow cabinet to jump ship following the UK’s vote to leave the EU in the recent Brexit referendum.

Corbyn stands accused by his fellow MPs of failing to campaign adequately to keep Britain in the EU, despite the fact a Remain vote was secured from 75% of Labour supporters.

Labour leadership challenge Angela Eagle Source: Jonathan Brady

While a large majority of Labour MPs have expressed no confidence in Corbyn, he has refused to step down citing the large democratic mandate given to him by party members.

Other candidates may also come forward to challenge Corbyn. However, the more candidates against him, the more the opposition vote may be splintered.

Corbyn for his part has said that he will stand once more in the event of a leadership ballot.

Read: UK government dismisses four-million-signature petition calling for a second Brexit vote

Read: The next Prime Minister of Britain will be a woman

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