YORK Central MP Rachael Maskell voted against approving an amendment that aims to extend access to abortion in Northern Ireland.

The Labour MP was one of five from her party to vote against the plans.

Meanwhile Conservative MP for York Outer Julian Sturdy backed the proposals.

MPs voted by 332 to 99, majority 233, to approve an amendment from Labour's Stella Creasy which aims to liberalise access to abortion in Northern Ireland if devolution is not restored.

Terminations are only allowed in cases where a woman's life is at risk or if there is a danger of permanent and serious damage to her mental or physical health.

The votes were held as part of House of Commons measures aimed at keeping Northern Ireland public services running, two and a half years after devolved powersharing collapsed.

Ms Maskell and Mr Sturdy have been approached for a comment.

In a statement, Ms Maskell said that whilst she was for women's 'right to choose' she felt that the amendment could jeopardise ongoing negotiations between the North Ireland Assembly. 

She said: "For me, the ability for the Irish assembly to vote on the amendment themselves is vital in upholding the Northern Ireland agreement. 

"Such a topic is very sensitive and I felt it would be wrong, insensitive and opportunistic for Parliament to vote on this whilst the Irish parliament is prorogued and just as negotiations are getting back on track . 

"I would only have voted for the amendment if it had been put forward in a referendum to the people of Northern Ireland. This is a sensitive issue and having worked in Ireland, I do not think it should be a decision taken by another jurisdiction."