Menu

Login to access your account

Tue, 2 June 2020

Personalise Your Politics

Subscribe now
The House Live All
Coronavirus
New appointments this week in UK politics, the civil service and public affairs Member content
Coronavirus
Press releases

Ruth Davidson rules out ever becoming Tory leader as she reveals mental health battle

Ruth Davidson rules out ever becoming Tory leader as she reveals mental health battle

Emilio Casalicchio

2 min read

Ruth Davidson has ruled out ever running for the Conservative leadership - as she revealed a history of depression and self-harm.


The Scottish Tory leader said: “I value my relationship and my mental health too much for it.”

Ms Davidson has been tipped as a potential future prime minister since the party overtook Labour support north of the border under her stewardship.

She also won accolades after the Conservatives secured 12 Scottish seats at the general election last year - their best performance since the 1980s - and helped Theresa May cling on to power.

But after years of speculation, Ms Davidson finally ruled out ever taking the reins of the Tory party, telling the Sunday Times: “You have to want it, and I don’t want to be prime minister.”

Asked if she would “ever” run, the MSP said: “No. I value my relationship and my mental health too much for it. I will not be a candidate.”

Ms Davidson said she spent her teenage years suffering bouts of depression that led her to self-harm and suicidal thoughts. She even rolled up her sleeve to reveal the self-harm scars on her arms.

In extracts from her new memoirs, she reveals that she coped with the illness by sticking to routines, setting goals, taking exercise, drinking less and throwing away her medication.

But she adds: “I am still frightened of going back to the psychological place I once inhabited.”

Westminster Briefing
The Building Regulations and Fire Safety Conference

Your chance to explore first-hand what solutions are being put in place to meet challenges in building and fire safety

Find out more