26 July 2015
- From the section UK Politics
Labour MP Simon Danczuk says he is stepping back from his campaigning work on child sexual abuse to seek help for depression.
The Rochdale MP said he had sought help from a psychiatrist because hearing victims’ accounts had taken its toll on his mental health.
In an interview with Becky Milligan for BBC Radio 4’s The World at One, he said it had also affected his marriage.
Mr Danczuk has been at the forefront of campaigning on child abuse allegations.
He previously investigated allegations against former MP Cyril Smith, and has pressed the Home Office for action in relation to other historical abuse cases.
“I would say I have been suffering from depression to the point where I have decided to seek help for that,” he said, revealing that he had experienced suicidal thoughts at times.
He said he was “getting angry at stuff I shouldn’t be getting angry at, fairly mundane things” and becoming “aggressive – not violently aggressive – but getting angry about things”.
Mr Danczuk, who has been an MP since 2010, said he was “perhaps drinking a bit too much”, particularly after his meetings with abuse victims.
He said Parliament offered a regular “MOT” with a doctor who had referred him to a psychiatrist, who had given him “permission” to step back from the work, he said.
Mr Danczuk, who recently separated from his wife, said he was “in no doubt” it had take its toll on his marriage.
“It’s not conducive to a happy relationship, is it,” he said.
Asked about the effect of MPs’ work on their mental health, he said there was an expectation to be “tough” in politics, adding: “I do not think that’s such a virtue in this day and age.”