Tory MP William Wragg reveals battle against depression

William Wragg
William Wragg

A Conservative MP has said he is stepping back from Parliament to focus on “banishing the black dog” after revealing his struggle with depression.

William Wragg, a vice-chairman of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers, said he had lived with the illness, as well as with anxiety, for most of his adult life.

Mr Wragg, the MP for Hazel Grove, in Greater Manchester, was elected in 2015. In a statement posted on Twitter on Tuesday, alongside the caption “banishing the black dog”, he wrote: “I am resisting the temptation to give up entirely. As such, I require a short break.

“I know that how I feel is far from unique. I would say to anyone who feels similarly that they should speak to someone they trust, seek and accept support.

“Do not assume those who are outwardly confident and successful are without doubts and despair. I am only making this statement as an explanation, instead of giving recurrent excuses.”

‘I look forward to returning refreshed’

Mr Wragg said his constituents would be able to contact his office and casework team when they require assistance, promising they would “do their utmost” to help.

He added: “In the meantime, I look forward to returning refreshed, better able to represent my constituents, loving life and myself a little bit more.”

Mr Wragg was among the backbenchers involved in a rebellion against Covid lockdown restrictions. In January, he confirmed he had submitted a letter of no confidence in Boris Johnson and was critical of him during several interventions in Parliament.

Nadia Whittome, the Labour MP for Nottingham East, took several weeks away from Westminster last year. She revealed she had been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and said it was “not feasible” for her to continue without a break.