Maria Gatland stepped down from her post at Croydon Council after being exposed as the author of a “kiss and tell” book that detailed her relationships with figures in the provisionals, written under her maiden name Maria McGuire.
Her secret past emerged following cryptic comments at a public meeting from a local Save Our Schools campaigner, who referred to the cabinet member for children, young people and learners as “Councillor McGuire”.
The man, Peter Latham, then apologised for his comment, but added that he was a devotee of Irish history and had been reading a book about the IRA which “you, Councillor Gatland, might have heard about as you are Irish”.
Croydon Council said news of Miss Gatland’s experience with the IRA came as a “complete shock”. She has been suspended from the local authority’s ruling Conservative group pending an investigation.