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.
|Member of Parliament|
for Newcastle upon Tyne Central
9 June 1983 – 11 June 1987
|Preceded by||Harry Cowans|
|Succeeded by||Jim Cousins|
|Member of Parliament|
9 April 1992 – 27 October 1997
|Preceded by||Philip Goodhart|
|Succeeded by||Jacqui Lait|
|Born||2 January 1951|
|Died||21 September 2009|
|Political party||Conservative, UKIP|
|Alma mater||Durham University|
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 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.
- Van der Vat, Dan (23 September 2009). "Piers Merchant obituary". The Guardian. London.
- 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.
- Templeton, Tom (15 November 2003). "What happened next?". The Guardian.
- "Torridge District Council - DCC Election Results 2005".
- "Politics Obituaries: Piers Merchant". The Daily Telegraph. London. 25 September 2009. Retrieved 25 September 2009.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Piers Merchant
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament for Newcastle upon Tyne Central
1983 – 1987
| Member of Parliament for Beckenham
1992 – 1997