RUTH Davidson has won praise for speaking out about how preserving her relationships and mental health were the reasons why she has decided to rule out ever taking on the Conservative Party’s top job.

The 39-year-old Scottish Tory leader, who is pregnant with her first child, told how she had self-harmed and had suicidal thoughts when she was younger.

In extracts from her memoirs, she revealed following the suicide of a boy from her home village when she was 17 she was diagnosed with clinical depression.

Ms Davidson said she was "still frightened" of going back to the "psychological place I once inhabited".

Toni Giugliano Policy Manager at the Mental Health Foundation, noting how the stigma surrounding mental health remained very present in society, said: “Ruth’s decision to speak out takes courage and will hopefully encourage others to do the same.”

Ms Davidson's decision will come as a blow to her supporters north and south of the border. Her personal popularity and electoral success has seen her frequently tipped as a future leader of the UK Conservatives.

But the Edinburgh MSP has now explicitly ruled out such a move and dismissed claims she could take a peerage or move south and become an MP as "bollocks".

Asked if she would ever run to be UK Tory leader, she told The Sunday Times: "No. I value my relationship and my mental health too much for it. I will not be a candidate."

She added: "On a human level, the idea that I would have a child in Edinburgh and then immediately go down to London four days a week and leave it up here is offensive, actually offensive to me."

It means that Ms Davidson has made clear her one and only focus will be on trying to oust Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister at the Holyrood elections in 2021.

It further means not only will it make harder the key task of Jeremy Corbyn to gain seats in Scotland, given the Scottish Tory leader’s personal popularity, but also the likes of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt will breathe easier knowing, when the battle to succeed Theresa May begins, a potentially formidable foe will not be challenging them for the top job.