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Piers Rolf Garfield Merchant
(born 2 January 1951) & (died21 September 2009)
Piers Merchant was a politician in the United Kingdom. He was Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Beckenham, but resigned in October 1997.
Before he became an MP he was a journalist and marketing officer. Merchant was educated at Nottingham High School and the University of Durham where he was Senior Man of University College's JCR. He was first elected to the House of Commons at the 1983 general election, for the Newcastle Central constituency, he lost the seat at the June 1987 general election. He stood for Beckenham at the 1992 general election and won.
MPs cannot technically resign; instead he took the offices of Steward of the Manor of Northstead, which automatically led to his disqualification.
In the 2004 European Parliament election, Merchant stood for the UK Independence Party in the North East England constituency, at the top of their party list. He was not elected.
Piers Merchant worked for some years, in various capacities, for UKIP, having been at one time political advisor to Roger Knapman the UKIP leader during their sucessful 2004 election and also for a short time acted as UKIP General Secretary until a suitable individual could be found full time.
In 2005, Merchant relocated to Great Torrington in North Devon. Merchant is also a member of Mensa.
It is with regret that I inform you that in early July 2009 Piers was diagnosed as having advanced multi site metastatic cancer, the prognosis being bleak. His wife Helen supported by their two children is with him at this time. (07-Jul-09)
It is with regret that I inform you that on 21-Sep-2009 Piers Merchant died after a short terminal illness. The cause of death was multi site metastatic cancer.
Piers Merchant leaves his wife Helen and their daughter and teenage son. Piers had faced his illness with courage, supported by his family, and leaves many friends and colleagues, Piers' brother will find it particularly hard as their Mother had died only a matter of a few months ago after a brief terminal illness, though at a much more acceptable age.
The EUroRealist movement has lost an indefatiguable campaigner and a well informed advocate, whose contribution in UKIP has been immense. He will be remembered with affection by his many colleagues in UKIP and before that from his days as a Conservative MP and before.
My personal condolences to their children Alethea and Rolf and to his widow Helen Merchant (nee Burrlock) whom he married in 1977. Helen loyally stood by Piers throughout the visicitudes of a colourfull and productive life, whilst maintaining a high powered career in her own right.
Much of Piers' life was was spent in service to British liberty and democracy, though he will be remembered by many for his colourfull private life - a life too soon lost!
Further details of his life can be found in The Telegraph if you CLICK HERE
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