1.Everyone shall possess the right to freely express and publicise his thoughts in words, images or by any other means, as well as the right to inform others, inform himself and be informed without hindrance or discrimination 2.Exercise of the said rights shall not be hindered or limited by any type or form of censorship Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, Article 37.º


Sunday Mirror, Oct 26, 1997 by Terry O'Hanlon, Dennis Rice

Shamed ex-Tory MP Piers Merchant yesterday finally broke his silence
over his steamy affair with Soho hostess Anna Cox and did what he does
best...carried on lying.

Even a five-figure sum for his newspaper confession couldn't stop
Merchant from telling porkies.

And while you can't believe a word Merchant says, you can count on
ours...which is why we are carrying out our promise to pull back the
duvet cover if he didn't tell the truth.

It's not a pretty sight doing that to the balding 46-year-old MP and
18-year-old Anna, but then neither is the story of Merchant and the way
he continues to wrap what really went on in a pack of lies. When the
Sunday Mirror first told how Merchant preferred to spend four nights
with his lover than go to the Tory conference in Blackpool he denied any

Two days later when he did the decent thing and resigned as Beckenham MP
he lied again by saying it was to protect his family and Anna from "the
intensive and continued intrusion into our private lives".

Now at last he's finally admitted an affair - yet anything he says about
what happened and the truth seem to be accidental.

Merchant says he did not have an affair with Anna before the General

He is lying.

Merchant asked former Commons researcher Anthony Gilberthorpe to contact
Anna in March when pictures of him kissing her first appeared in the

"She made it quite clear to me that whatever Piers was saying, they had
had a sexual affair," Gilberthorpe said. "It was a shock to me. I had
not questioned his honesty when the affair first became public.

"And it was only weeks later that they started spending a lot of time
together again.

"They were meeting virtually every day and going for long walks in the
constituency or going to his London flat.

"Piers continued with his story that they were writing a book but I know
they had resumed their affair.

"One night, I arrived early for a meeting at Merchant's Pimlico flat and
was surprised when no one answered.

"Five minutes later, Merchant came to the door all flustered.

"He told me he was changing the bed-linen. Then Anna appeared with her
hair all dishevelled, mumbling about how her hair clip had fallen out.

"It was obvious they had just had sex."

Merchant says Anna did not "set him up" with a newspaper which published
pictures of them kissing and cuddling.

He is lying.

Anna was a willing partner with journalists from The Sun.

Merchant claims Anna worked as his researcher at the House of Commons.

He is lying.

"It's ridiculous to say Anna was his researcher or secretary," said
Gilberthorpe. "His wife Helen was his secretary. Anna could barely

"Piers often joked that Anna was an "air head" who thought Gloucester
was in East Anglia.

"She was not registered as a researcher at the House of Commons. She was
at the Commons for one purpose and it was not research.

"Merchant's real researcher Joanna left because of his affair with Anna.
She was sick of seeing him with "The Bimbo', as we all used to call
her."Anna was very naive. To be honest, she didn't really know much
about politics at all."

Merchant claims he phoned his wife to own up about his four-day sex
spree with Anna BEFORE he was confronted by Sunday Mirror reporters.

He is lying.

He claims Anna Cox was sitting next to him when he made the call to his

He is lying.

He claims he fully explained the situation to his wife because he felt
he had to tell her the truth.

He is lying.

Sunday Mirror reporter Shiraz Lalani was with Anna and Merchant on the
train after they returned back from their four-day romp.

"He was tipped off on his mobile phone that his affair with Anna was no
longer a secret," said Lalani.

"But instead of calling his wife immediately, he tried to cover up the
affair with lies. He said to Anna,"This could be very dangerous for both
of us, you will have to be very strong.'

"It was only when a tearful Anna went to the loo on the train that
Merchant rang his wife.

"He did not say, "Darling, there is something I must tell you' as he
claims in his newspaper confession.

"He really said, 'It is me. Have you heard about the problem, the big
problem? The Press are on to me. I have been a fool, but we are going to
sort it all out'. When Anna returned, Merchant made no attempt to
console her as she sobbed, 'What about my parents. Oh my God, what if
they have got pictures?'

"Later when she had calmed down, they plotted to leave the train
separately to avoid arousing suspicion at King's Cross.

"At the station, Merchant left the train first carrying a small bag,
leaving Anna with a heavy suitcase she could hardly lift. It was a
Sunday Mirror reporter who helped her carry it to a taxi."

Yesterday Merchant and Anna were checking the next instalment of their
kiss and tell story.

There were also reports that she plans to cash in by selling her sleazy
story as well.

The only trouble will be telling what are the seedy facts and what is
the sanitized fiction.

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