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

Posted On: 
16th September 2018

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

Ruth Davidson empties the barrel of a Royal Artillery gun
PA Images

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.

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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.”