Our thoughts are with the friends and family of Maureen Colquhoun who died this week. For a time Maureen was the sole woman councillor on Shoreham council and she served on Shoreham and then Adur council from 1971 until 1974.  She served as MP for Northampton North from 1974 to 1979 and was the first openly lesbian MP.

The Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, called her “a champion of women’s rights” who “faced awful discrimination, including from within our party, but her courage paved the way for all those who came after”.

Deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “On behalf of the whole Labour Party and our movement, I send my deepest condolences to Maureen’s family, friends and all those who knew, admired and loved her. Labour women have lost a great sister and we have all lost a woman of huge integrity and courage.”

She said: “Today we recognise that we stand on the shoulders of giants and we would not be where are today without women like Maureen. Her passing reminds us of the great sacrifices made by so many and our duty to recommit ourselves to the fight for true justice and equality for all.

“That struggle, of which Maureen was an indelible and inspiring leader, is far from over, it is far from won and our determination is undimmed. Rest in peace.”

Sally Keeble, who wrote the words on our image of Maureen was a successor MP for Northampton North.

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