Rory Stewart reveals MPs have ‘tried to kill themselves’ due to stress of job

The ex-Tory leadership candidate said it was “a miracle they weren’t dead”. His comments will heighten concern about the mental torment suffered by the nation’s MPs.

He told GB News: “Colleagues tried to kill themselves. People I knew. And in very serious ways, I mean almost killed themselves.”

The former International Development Secretary condemned “bitter” MPs whose “basic mission in life is to try to humiliate other people” and described the mental anguish some MPs endured.

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He said: “There were other colleagues who had total breakdowns in the most humiliating, personal, embarrassing fashion possible in public.

And I think this is because the gap between the way that MPs are encouraged to present themselves to the public
and who they really are is almost unsustainable for most people.

“It’s mad, because you’re pretending to be all-knowing, perfect, dynamic, confident, I’ve got the answers to everything, and I know where we’re going.

The truth is, this is a country of 70 million people, and politicians don’t really know what’s going on.” He ended up “despising” himself for his own behaviour, saying: “I would find myself sort of creepily trying to sit next to David Cameron at lunch, and I’d send these texts saying, you know, ‘Congratulations on your latest policy’ that I didn’t really believe in.

And so, I began to feel I was being made, in my early 40s, into some kind of child.”

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A Government source said more mental health support is now available to MPs. A House of Commons spokesman said
MPs and staff can access a “parliamentary health and wellbeing service”.

● The full interview will be shown on the Michael Portillo show on GB News today from 11am.

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