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Will windfall for wife of ex-MP

PUBLISHED: 15:52 03 February 2010 | UPDATED: 11:27 12 August 2010

A SHAMED Tory MP who died last year has left £695,000 to the loyal wife who stood by him despite his affair with a teenage girl.

A SHAMED Tory MP who died last year has left £695,000 to the loyal wife who stood by him despite his affair with a teenage girl.

Former Beckenham MP Piers Merchant, who died last September, left all his estate to his wife Helen in his will.

The MP became a symbol of Tory sleaze when it was revealed he had an affair with 17-year-old Soho nightclub 'hostess' Anna Cox before the 1997 General Election.

Merchant and his wife Helen, who was at his bedside in his final hours, appeared on their doorstep a few days after the scandal broke and kissed passionately in an attempt to dismiss the allegations.

Surprising many of his contemporaries, he retained his Beckenham seat in the 1997 elections but was forced to resign less than six months later when Merchant and his former lover were pictured again in a passionate clinch, blowing open the full scale of their affair.

He went on to join UKIP in 1992 as an advisor but failed to win a north-eastern seat in the European parliamentary election in 2004.

Mrs Merchant was at his bedside when he died of cancer, aged 58, at a hospice on September 21.

Probate records released last week confirmed she was sole beneficiary of his will.

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