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Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau asks a question during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on May 7

Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Toronto Liberal MP John McKay was heard on a tape recording criticizing party leader Justin Trudeau over his edict that prospective MPs must follow the party's pro-choice position on abortion.

McKay says on a recording obtained by CTV News that he thought Trudeau had a "bozo eruption" and didn't think about what he said when he declared that anti-abortion candidates won't be allowed to run for the Liberals.

He added that it "scares the hell" out of him that Trudeau's brain trust could have thought this through without realizing how much of a "toxic issue" this is.

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McKay called the recording, which CTV says was made by someone with Conservative leanings, "gotcha" politics.

He told the network in a statement he made "ill advised comments" in what he thought was a private conversation and didn't know he was being "secretly recorded."

The Liberal party responded by saying Trudeau respects McKay but that sometimes people with strong personal feelings about an issue "say things that they come to regret."

Trudeau announced earlier this month that opponents of abortion need not apply to run for the Liberal party in the next election, but if they do, they'll be weeded out during the vetting process for nomination applications.

He said, however, that exceptions would be made for incumbent opponents of abortion who became MPs before the party officially adopted a pro-choice stance, such as McKay and fellow Toronto MP Judy Sgro.

McKay at the time told The Canadian Press he'd likely have "a few awkward moments" over the situation.

"That's life," he said.

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