A Liberal MP was secretly recorded saying that he thought party leader Justin Trudeau had a “bozo eruption” when he declared that anti-abortion candidates won’t be allowed to run for the Liberals.   

John McKay, a Toronto MP who opposes abortion, thought he was having a private conversation at an event Sunday when he expressed his frustration with Trudeau’s public abortion stance.

“I’ve had umpteen conversations with so many people about this. It’s driving me crazy,” he is heard saying in the audio recording obtained by CTV News.

“I initially thought it was a bozo eruption; that he didn’t actually think about what he said,” McKay said after he was asked about the abortion issue. 

“But even more disturbing is that his brain trust might have actually thought about this, and if they did … it scares the hell out of me. If you don’t know this is a toxic issue for a population then you have no political sense whatsoever.”

The audio recording was made by someone with Conservative leanings.

McKay was surprised to learn that he was being recorded during the conversation and called it “gotcha” politics.

In a statement, he told CTV News:  “I made ill advised comments in what I thought was a private conversation where I didn’t know I was being secretly recorded.”

In response to the recording, the Liberal Party said Trudeau “respects Mr. McKay,” who has “strong, personal feelings about this issue and often in those situations people say thing that they come to regret.”

Trudeau told reporters earlier this month that any prospective Liberal MPs who are anti-abortion will be flagged and barred during the nomination process.

“I have made it clear that future candidates need to be completely understanding that they will be expected to vote pro-choice on any bills,” he said, adding that beliefs of long-time Liberal MPs who are anti-abortion “will be respected to a certain extent.”

McKay has told The Canadian Press that he’ll likely have “a few awkward moments” being in the minority among Liberal MPs on the issue.

With a report from CTV’s Deputy Ottawa Bureau Chief Laurie Graham