Labour’s Angela Rayner opened up about her tough early life caring for her seriously ill mother last night, revealing she once had to have her sectioned to prevent her from self-harming.
The deputy leadership front-runner discussed growing up having to feed and bathe mum Lynn Bowen while she suffered from severe depression, admitting it often left her scared.
Ms Bowen spoke of her pride in her Ashton-under-Lyne MP daughter, 39, as she candidly discussed her battle with mental illness left her ‘in a very dark place’ and reliant on her young daughter.
In a joint interview with ITV News, Ms Bowen credits her daughter with saving her, saying she would not have survived without her.
‘I was in a very dark place, she used to bath me, look after me, feed me,’ Ms Bowen said of her daughter.
‘If it wasn’t for her I don’t think I’d be here today.’
Angela Rayner with her mother on her wedding day in 2010
The deputy leadership front-runner discussed growing up having to feed and bathe mum Lynn Bowen while she suffered from severe depression, admitting it often left her scared
In an interview for ITV’s Acting Prime Minister podcast Ms Rayner, herself a grandmother and shadow education secretary, said ‘it’s nice that my mum is proud of me, because I’m proud of her’,
‘I remember being scared, remember staying at the bottom of my mum’s bed once, thinking is my mum going to do something, and not wanting to go to sleep because I didn’t want to go to sleep and think my mum wouldn’t be there in the morning, and that was quite traumatic,’ she said.
In a stark exposure of the seriousness of the situation, Ms Bowen spoke of being admitted to a mental unit after a suicide attempt.
Ms Rayner as a girl: Her mother said she vowed her as ‘the mum’ despite her youth because she had to run the family
‘I was really depressed and suicidal, [Angela] had me sectioned once…because I cut my wrists, took the tablets, [she] had to get the police and the ambulance,’ she said.
‘I always picture her as the mum when I was having that really dark time because I was acting like a baby, because that’s all I could do.
‘We grew up in poverty, you were on giros weren’t you, you were on benefits,’
‘[We were] waiting for food to come into the cupboards.’