Layla Moran, MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, has announced today that she will be standing for leadership of the Liberal Democrats.

Speaking to Sky News’ Sophy Ridge, Moran said she said she will put forward a positive vision “to change the future of the country” when the contest opens later this year.  

She said it was “really important that we listen and understand where we’ve been going wrong, adding: “They come back and say in the election revoke was a big mistake because it felt very top-down, and actually co-operation is a key part of what we believe as Liberal Democrats and we need to earn their trust again.”

Moran became the first MP to come out as pansexual in January, and is the first MP of Palestinian descent and the first female Lib Dem MP from an ethnic minority background. She was re-elected in the December General Election as MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, increasing her majority with a massive 6.9 point swing and 31,340 votes.

Moran said: “I want to fight to ensure education and equality of opportunity. To properly tackle the climate crisis, and to better engage in cooperative, progressive politics. I’m listening to members and voters, and I want to work with them to build a vision for the future of our party and country.”

Moran was elected MP for the constituency in 2017 with a slim majority of 816 votes, ending Conservative Nicola Blackwood’s seven year tenure. 

Moran spoke to The Oxford Blue in the wake of her General Election victory: “I am of course delighted to have been re-elected as the MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, and I am grateful to our community for placing its trust in me once again.

“The result shows that the people of Oxford West and Abingdon clearly don’t want to get Brexit done. It also shows that they want tougher action on the climate crisis, on funding for our schools and for our NHS.

“I will continue to be first and foremost a local advocate, speaking up for residents on issues such as the disastrous Expressway project.

Moran is one of 11 Liberal Democrats to be elected as MPs in an election which decisively returned a Conservative Majority.

Liberal Democrat leader, Jo Swinson, has stepped down as leader after narrowly losing her seat in Dunbartonshire East by 149 votes to SNP candidate Amy Callaghan. 

Moran is the third Lib Dem MP to announce her leadership bid, after MPs Wera Hobhouse and Christine Jardine already announced their intention to stand.

Nominations for the leadership contest formally open on 11 May and close on 28 May, with a postal vote of party members beginning on 18 June and concluding on 15 July.

Lois Heslop

Lois Heslop is the co-founder of The Oxford Blue and was Editor-in-Chief for HT20 and TT20. She is in her second year studying Physics at Lady Margaret Hall, and hails from South London. Her other interests include classical music and opera, and she is currently a choral scholar.