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19 September 2016

The returning officer: Hackney South

In 1934 it was noted that Muriel Morgan Gibbon had “turned Labour” and “bathes all the year round at Kenwood”.

By Stephen Brasher

Muriel Morgan Gibbon stood against Herbert Morrison as the Liberal candidate for Hackney South in 1929. The Western News noted that the many Free Church candidates included four women. She was the daughter of J M Gibbon, “one of the greatest Congregationalist preachers of the day”. In 1934 it was noted that she had “turned Labour” and “bathes all the year round at Kenwood”. A journalist and author, she was called to the Bar in 1938 and practised in the divorce courts. Her novels included The Pharisees, No 7 Paradise and Curious Fool.

In 1962 she was present when Elizabeth Lane took her seat as the first female Divorce Court commissioner. All the barristers and all but one of the court officials were women.

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This article appears in the 14 Sep 2016 issue of the New Statesman, The fall of the golden generation