Colin Merton, one of our constituency’s most colourful political characters, sadly passed away on 7 February aged 81. Colin was the UK Independence Party’s candidate for the Cities of London and Westminster and fought in three successive general elections. He was my opponent for two of those and was always gracious and good-spirited, adding fun and colour to the proceedings.
Colin was a member of the Savile Club in Brook Street where he made his permanent home and of which he was the honorary librarian. Not only was Colin interested in politics but he was also an excellent pianist, a noted art collector and a pioneering computer programmer.
He will be sorely missed as one of our constituency’s most lively, sharp and unconventional campaigners.
I believe the following quote from The Daily Telegraph’s obituaries on 16 February sums Colin up wonderfully:
“Merton was UKIP’s parliamentary candidate for the Cities of London and Westminster…he cheerfully acknowledged no hope of victory but was often found, in three-piece tweeds and rosette, politely proffering his leaflets on the doorsteps of grim tower-block estates. There his campaigning style was refreshingly unconventional. On the doorstep he would ask: “Would you like a UKIP leaflet?” Tenant: “Er…” Merton, hand cupped round ear: “No? Oh well, can’t say I blame you. But good day to you none the less”