I was saddened to be told that Piers Merchant had passed away on Monday. Readers of this blog will be aware that Piers had been diagnosed with terminal cancer some months ago.
Piers was a colourful character, a staunch patriot and a committed opponent of the EU. My thoughts are with his family at this sad time.
From his Wikipedia entry:
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 successful 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 Euro Realist movement has lost an indefatigable 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.
End of extract.
Gregg Beaman spoke for many when he said:
He was honest, politically astute, a gentleman and a character.
Piers was accused by Mark Croucher of being the author of this blog. Croucher was aware that Piers was terminally ill but still made the decision to tell lies about him. I trust that Croucher will now apologise to Mr Merchant's family.
Perhaps Skeptyk will do the decent thing as Croucher is currently banned from posting on the British Democracy Forum under his own name.
For more on Piers see:
Gregg Beaman’s blog: LINK
Greg Lance-Watkins’ blog: LINK
Meanwhile, in Russia… - At least he holds regular press conferences, eh Prime Minister… Via @journodave. Tagged: Media Guido
26 minutes ago