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Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies takes leave of absence to deal with mental health issues

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Leader of the Welsh Conservative’s in the Senedd, Andrew RT Davies has announced that he is to take a break from front line politics to deal with mental health issues.

Former leader Paul Davies will deputise during Andrew RT Davies’ break.

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In a statement posted to social media, Mr Davies said: “As some of you are aware, over the past fortnight I’ve been fighting a dose of the flu and subsequently coronavirus.

“I’m starting to recover but I will admit that it’s knocked me for six and had a troubling impact on my mental well-being.

“Like many men, I’ve always believed I had a shield of invincibility, and like many who have struggled, I’ve contemplated whether I should make this public,”

“However, as a leader, I believe you should set an example and I want to be open and honest – in the good times and the bad – as I know many people have struggled and will do with their mental health.”

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Mr Davies added: “As such, and on doctor’s orders, I will be taking a complete break from work to ensure I can fully recover and bounce back from the difficulties that I’ve experienced in the past fortnight.

“In the meantime I would like to thank Paul Davies for continuing with my duties during my absence, and I ask that my privacy and that of my family are respected.”

Current Welsh Conservative Deputy Leader Paul Davies, is himself a former leader of the Conservative group having stepped down in January. He tweeted in response: “Wishing you all the best for a speedy recovery. Get well soon!”

In response to Andrew RT Davies’ statement, leader of the Plaid group Adam Price said: “We heard powerful personal accounts of mental health struggles in the Senedd yesterday. Speaking out is brave and should be applauded. My best wishes to you, Andrew.”

Labour Senedd Member, Lynne Neagle, the Welsh Government Minister responsible for mental health and wellbeing tweeted in response: “I’m very sorry to hear this Andrew. Please look after yourself and take the time you need to recover. Take care x

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