The #MoggMentum Twitter hashtag – set up during Jacob Rees-Mogg's unlikely rise to bookie's favourite to take over the Tory party - has been overtaken with images of same sex couples kissing following his comments regarding gay marriage.

The MP for North East Somerset was criticised for his views on gay marriage and abortion during an interview on ITV's Good Morning Britain.

As well as saying abortion is wrong including in circumstances involving rape as "life begins at the point of conception" the devout Catholic also said he opposes gay marriage.

He said: "I'm a Catholic. I take the teaching of the Catholic church seriously. Marriage is a sacrament and the view of what marriage is, is taken by the Church, not Parliament."

Comparing his views to how Tim Farron quit as Lib Dem leader after repeatedly refusing whether he believed gay sex was a sin, Rees-Mogg added: "It's all very well to say we live in a multicultural country until you're a Christian. Until you hold the traditional views of the Catholic church. That seems to be fundamentally wrong.

The MP said his views on gay marriage is not a party-political issue and he does not judge people as "he who is without sin should cast the first stone."

Following the interview, the Moggmentum hashtag, which was set to whip up support for his leadership similar to the pro-Corbyn grassroots youth movement Momentum, was hijacked by people showing their support for LGBT relationships.

Elsewhere, the British Pregnancy Advisory service (BPAS) said Rees-Mogg's views on abortion are "wildly at odds with public opinion."

A spokesperson added: "70% of the population, and 61% of Roman Catholics, now support abortion on request – a more liberal framework than we currently have in this country. Earlier this year, MPs across all parties voted to decriminalise abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, and supported extending abortion access for women resident in Northern Ireland.

"We are a pro-choice country, we have a pro-choice parliament. Rees-Mogg's stance on abortion is quite simply extreme, and extremely out-of-touch. Every politician is entitled to hold their own opinion on abortion. But what matters is whether they would let their own personal convictions stand in the way of women's ability to act on their own."

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Jacob Rees-Mogg has become the bookies favourite to replace Theresa May UK parliament