They called her Mrs Chatterbox and the name stuck. Maureen Colquhoun, a young urban councillor from Shoreham, was on the front page of all the tabloids more than 40 years ago.

She was the only woman on the authority and the men simply could not shut her up. So they banned her from all the committees.

It was a foolish move by the blinkered old Tories in Shoreham for it allowed the world to see what we on The Argus already realised – that they were no match for her.

What’s more she was in close contact with Shoreham reporter Harry Treadwell, one of the most astute brains in the business, and her husband Keith was a sub editor on The Sun.

Maureen Colquhoun had form for making a fuss. She once locked herself in a doctor’s surgery with her mother because she felt the old lady was not receiving proper treatment. She used his phone to call Harry Treadwell.

And I was there when before a meeting of Shoreham Harbour Trustees, where members had been provided with a liquid lunch, she claimed some of them were too drunk to make a proper contribution.

Mrs Colquhoun was by far the youngest member of the council and was one of only three Labour members. The Tories were not used to dealing with party politics or a councillor who queried nearly everything they did.

Crowds turned out to back her every time the council met and it soon became clear that she would have to be reinstated.

But Maureen Colquhoun was by now looking well beyond Shoreham to continue her political ascent. She was chosen as Parliamentary Labour candidate for Northampton North and duly won the seat in 1974.

Rather unexpectedly, she left her husband, with whom she had brought up three children, and dramatically declared that she was a lesbian. The local Labour party was not ready for this.

Whereas today she would be applauded for her courage, she was then the first MP to be outed for it.

She was deselected for her so-called obsession with women’s rights. Although she later won an appeal, the damage was done and in 1979 she lost the seat to a Conservative.

This disgraceful decision was far worse than anything the old buffers at Shoreham had done to her and it ended her political career. She showed her sense of fun in the House of Commons by getting Speaker George Thomas to mumble the title of Ms, which he did not like. Other MPs appreciated the joke.

Harry Treadwell published her memoir Woman in the House but after that she retreated into near obscurity. The last I heard of her she was on the Lake District national park authority arguing against low flying aircraft and for speed limits on boats in the water.

Whereas once she had looked like a woman who would rise to the top, Mrs Chatterbox was instead silenced.