1. ITV Report

Patrick Mercer: Army Colonel turned Tory MP

Conservative Party member Patrick Mercer has said he will not stand in the next election. Photo: Press Assocation

Conservative Party MP Patrick Mercer has announced he will resign the party whip following allegations he broke Parliamentary rules.

Before entering politics in 2001 Mercer spent 25 years as an Army officer with the Sherwood Foresters, following in the footsteps of his father who served in the same regiment.

Mercer server in Uganda and completed nine tours of Northern Ireland. He commanded his battalion in both Bosnia and Canada.

He was made an MBE in 1992 and received an OBE in 1997 in recognition of his service in Bosnia.

He was educated at Oxford and after leaving his post as Colonel in the army in 1999 worked as a defence reporter for BBC Radio 4's Today programme. He was then selected as the Conservative candidate for Newark and left the BBC.

He freelanced briefly as a history and travel righter for the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail.

In 2001 he overturned a Labour majority of 3,000 in his home constituency and in 2003 was appointed to the front bench by Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, becoming the party spokesman on security.

He left the front bench in 2007 when he resigned after suggesting racism was "part and parcel" of life in the forces.