MP bravely tells GB News he twice 'overdosed' and self-harmed after pressure of Parliament

Conservative MP Jonathan Gullis spoke to Gloria De Piero on The Real Me

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In an exclusive interview with GB News, Conservative MP Jonathan Gullis told Gloria De Piero he has twice tried to take his own life and self-harmed as recently as 2019.

The MP for Stoke-on-Trent North said during The Real Me: "A couple of times I overdosed and stuff like that – not as many as I would need to obviously, you know, kill me – but enough to sort of realise I was in a really bad place."

The 32-year-old bravely told how he'd even planned where he'd kill himself and how he'd avoid his family having to discover his body.

The father-of-two confirmed he made the plans when he was "pre-GCSE's."

Jonathan Gullis
Jonathan Gullis

Mr Gullis, a former teacher, us he most recently self-harmed in 2019 "not long before the general election... after I got selected as a candidate."

The European Research Group member linked the most recent bout of self-harming to the pressure of being a parliamentary candidate and weight gain.

"My mental health slowly deteriorated around my weight, I think", he said.

"I would sort of comfort eat a lot, which is bad – a lot of sugar and carbohydrates and all the stuff not meant to shove in your body all at once.

"So I was starting to hate who I was because of how I looked. I wasn't opening up enough with people around me to share my fears, my concerns, my stresses and anxieties. It's a sort of tell-tale sign that I know I'm going to a dark place, when I isolate myself and I put on this façade that everything's fine, and I'm OK.

He went on: "But actually, I just needed someone to reach out to. I suppose I was scared to talk to my mum and dad about it, not because I couldn't – because I didn't want them to worry about me.

"I was afraid to reach out also partly because you want to think you're fixed. You want to think that you got through it and actually, what I've learned to accept is that you never are ‘fixed’, and actually you shouldn't look to be fixed.

"What you learn to do is cope, with the pressures of life, and cope with the ups and downs that come with it, and handle those moods."

Mr Gullis, who was a parliamentary candidate for Washington and Sunderland West in 2017, recounted how he was bullied during a significant part of his school years.

"It started off with name-calling and teasing, and there were times with some kids where it got quite physical", he said.

Jonathan Gullis speaks to Gloria De Piero
Jonathan Gullis speaks to Gloria De Piero

"But the main issue was just the isolation within the school – kind of being ostracised from my peers, constantly worrying about the small group of friends I did have, whether or not I'd be socially acceptable to be around. It went on for a long time."

The Oxford Brookes graduate continued: "I suppose it took a long time for me to start wanting to talk about it. It created a lot of anger, and a lot of depression as well – constantly wanting to try and be part of the ‘in’ crowd, and probably playing up more than I should have done.

"I remember my mum sort of worrying about my behaviour because I was a reasonably bright kid – I'd like to think – but I was playing up in lessons or outside of the classroom."

He said that he would self-harm as a schoolboy as a result of the bullying.

Mr Gullis, who is deaf in one ear, explained how he coped whilst at school.

"I had opened up with the chaplain at the school I attended – right before I opened up with my family – and that was really helpful, finally having someone to talk to."

"I remember she was one of the kindest ladies."

He continued: "She had her own battles with her own physical health, she actually has MS, so we ended up sort of talking about the vulnerability of one another, and it was quite nice to actually feel that you had someone to lean on and go to."

Anyone seeking help can contact the Samaritans on 116 123 or email [email protected] or [email protected]