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Piers Merchant

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Piers Rolf Garfield Merchant 2 January 1951 – 21 September 2009 was a British Conservative Party politician He was the Member of Parliament MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central from 1983 to 1987, and then MP for Beckenham from 1992 until he resigned in October 1997 following a scandal


  • 1 Education
  • 2 Political career
  • 3 Personal life
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links


He was educated at Nottingham High School and the University of Durham, where he studied law and politics He then worked for nine years at The Journal Newcastle

Political career

Merchant was first elected to the House of Commons at the 1983 general election for the Newcastle Central constituency, but lost his seat at the June 1987 general election He returned to parliament as the MP for Beckenham at the 1992 general election

He was caught by The Sun romancing with a teenage nightclub hostess on a park bench in south-east London

He resigned in 1997 following allegations that he was sleeping with his researcher He later claimed that the whole affair had been set up by his one time assistant and family friend, Anthony Gilberthorpe, for a payment of £25,000 from the Sunday Mirror

In the 2004 European Parliament election, Merchant stood for the United Kingdom Independence Party UKIP in the North East England constituency at the top of its party list He was not elected In 2005 he was the UKIP candidate for the Torrington Rural ward in the Devon County Council election, but finished fourth of the four candidates

Piers Merchant worked for some years in various capacities for UKIP, and was at one time political advisor to Roger Knapman during the 2004 European election; also, for a time, he acted as UKIP General Secretary

Personal life

In 2005, he and his family moved to Great Torrington in North Devon

In July 2009 he was diagnosed with advanced multisite metastatic cancer with a bleak prognosis He died on 21 September 2009


  1. ^ a b Van der Vat, Dan 2009-09-23 "Piers Merchant obituary" The Guardian London 
  2. ^ a b c McKittrick, David 3 October 2009 "Piers Merchant: Tory MP whose career ended when he was caught having an affair with a teenage Soho nightclub hostess" The Independent London 
  3. ^ Templeton, Tom 15 November 2003 "What happened next" – via The Guardian 
  4. ^ "Torridge District Council - DCC Election Results 2005" 
  5. ^ "Politics Obituaries: Piers Merchant" The Daily Telegraph London 25 September 2009 Retrieved 2009-09-25 

External links

  • Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Piers Merchant
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Harry Cowans
Member of Parliament for Newcastle upon Tyne Central
1983 – 1987
Succeeded by
Jim Cousins
Preceded by
Philip Goodhart
Member of Parliament for Beckenham
1992 – 1997
Succeeded by
Jacqui Lait

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