Mr. Patrick Mercer, OBE

Member of Parliament (UK)

Educated at the King's School, Chester, Oxford University and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, he has a degree in history. He has written several history books and has just expanded into fiction, his first trilogy having just been published.

After Oxford he joined Nottinghamshire's Regiment, the Sherwood Foresters in which his father had served during the war. Most of his service was in Northern Ireland though he also served in Germany, Canada, Uganda and Brunei. Latterly, he spent several months in the Balkans. Mentioned in despatches in 1983 and commended for gallantry in 1990, he was made MBE in 1992 and elevated to OBE in 1996 for service in Bosnia.

Leaving the Army in 1999, Patrick was the defence correspondent for BBC Radio 4's Today programme. This took him to the Balkans and East Timor. Moving from there to be the prospective parliamentary candidate for Newark in 2000, he kept body and soul together by working as a freelance journalist principally for the Daily Telegraph. Following the September 11th 2001 tragedy, Patrick served on the House of Commons Defence Select Committee and then moved into the Tory Defence Team where he acted as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Shadow Defence Secretary during the second Gulf War. He held the unique front bench post of Shadow Minister for Homeland Security between June 2003 and March 2007. This job was designed to underline the Government's incoherent approach to the preparation of this country for a terrorist attack.

In late 2004 he initiated a Private Member's Bill that was designed to alter the law in favour of householders rather than burglars. The whole issue was central to Newark from which Tony Martin's two intruders had come. Indeed, one of the young men who was injured in the infamous case in Norfolk still lives in Newark. He, Brendan Fearon, went