INTELLIGENCE website ‘Cryptome’ has alleged that the Conservative Party’s Newark and Retford MP, Patrick Mercer, is a former Force Research Unit operative. Photographic evidence appears to bear this out and the MP’s own online biography contains some curious statements about his time in Northern Ireland…Mr Mercer, Shadow Minister for Homeland Security, appears to be the fourth from the left in the front row of this photograph of FRU agents, which includes former FRU commander and the current military attaché to Beijing, Brigadier Gordon Kerr, also front row, centre. FRU ran agents in the paramilitary organisations in Northern Ireland, such as Brian Nelson.
Kerr, highlighted in the photo here, is directly in front of the woman with long hair – said to be Corporal Margaret Walshaw – who is standing beside the man alleged to be Stakeknife’s handler, David Moyles, with the red beard.
You can compare the pen portrait photo on his website and at Dod’s Parliamentary website (where he lists Northern Ireland as one of his ‘Special Interests’) with the one of the FRU agents taken over a decade ago to see that this is the same person (bottom of page).
Mercer, who commanded the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment (29th/45th Foot),1st Battalion in Bosnia and Canada shortly after his time in Thiepval, is also pictured here with Hans Blix, the UN weapons inspector who couldn’t find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, where Kerr served recently. Note Mercer’s distinctive mouth shape, cleft chin and side parting in both this and the FRU group photo.
What are curious are the references in the former Daily Telegraph freelancer and ex-BBC ‘Today’ reporter’s own biography to his time running agents in Northern Ireland.
He states: “He has played a vital role in establishing ceasefire terms in Ulster…”
“…he undertook nine tours in Northern Ireland; was Head of Strategy, Army Training and Recruiting Agency (1997-98); undertook nine tours in Northern Ireland and was Founder member of Cease-Fire Committee (1992)”.
A ‘Ceasefire Committee’ founded in 1992? That was two years before the IRA declared its ceasefire. Was this a FRU-run Cease-fire Committee? Why would FRU have a ceasefire committee in place in 1992 unless the agents they were running in the IRA were part of creating that ceasefire? Kerr is said to have left FRU the year before the committee was set up. If it was not a FRU led committee, what exactly was this committee and who was it working with?
If this was a FRU committee, it begs questions about what the FRU agents inside the IRA from 1992 to 1994 were doing, and of course, who they were.
This is, as far as I am aware, the first public reference to a military ‘Cease-fire Committee’, and it would be interesting to find out more – particularly if it was FRU-related.