|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|
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.
He 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. Merchant returned to parliament as the MP for Beckenham at the 1992 general election.
His resignation was caused by renewed allegations that he was sleeping with his researcher. He was then caught by The Sun romancing with a 17-year-old nightclub hostess on a park bench in south-east London in 1997, while his wife Helen was out canvassing for him. Anna Cox later told how he wanted to have sex in the open and she performed "a sex act" on him. MPs cannot technically resign; instead he took the offices of Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead, which automatically led to his disqualification.
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 their 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 their successful 2004 election; also, for a short time, he acted as UKIP General Secretary until a suitable individual could be found full time.
- 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