Layla Michelle Moran (//; born 12 September 1982) is a British Liberal Democrat politician serving as the Liberal Democrat Spokesman for Foreign Affairs and International Development since 2020, and serving as the Member of Parliament for Oxford West and Abingdon since 2017. She identifies as pansexual and is believed to be the first UK parliamentarian to come out as pansexual (which she did in 2020). She is the first MP of Palestinian descent.
She attended private schools in Brussels, Kingston in Jamaica and Roedean School near Brighton. She studied Physics at Imperial College London and completed her PGCE at Brunel University London. She worked as a maths and physics teacher. Moran unsuccessfully campaigned as the Liberal Democrat candidate in Battersea at the 2010 general election and in the West Central constituency at the 2012 London Assembly election.
She contested Oxford West and Abingdon at the 2015 general election, coming second. She was selected for the seat again at the 2017 general election and was elected to the House of Commons, defeating Conservative MP Nicola Blackwood, with 26,256 votes (43.7%) and a majority of 816.
She served as the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for the Department for Education under three leaders from 2017 to 2020, and was spokesperson for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport from 2019 to 2020. After Jo Swinson lost her seat at the 2019 general election, Moran stood to become Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the 2020 leadership election, which she lost to Acting Leader Sir Ed Davey. On 31 August 2020, Davey appointed Moran as the Liberal Democrats' Shadow Foreign Secretary and as International Development Spokesperson the following day.
Early life and career
Layla Michelle Moran was born in Hammersmith on 12 September 1982, the elder daughter of diplomat James Moran and Randa Moran, a Christian Palestinian from Jerusalem. Her great-grandfather was the Palestinian writer Wasif Jawhariyyeh, who published extensive memoirs. Moran describes herself as a British Palestinian. On her upbringing, Moran said "My Palestinian background has made me interested at a global level. Politics was always at the dinner table; it primed me to engage." Moran was raised as a cultural Christian and now identifies as a humanist.
Because her father was a diplomat for the European Union and its predecessors, Moran grew up in various countries, including Belgium, Greece, Ethiopia, Jamaica and Jordan. She attended private schools in Brussels, Kingston in Jamaica and Roedean School in Brighton. From 2000 to 2003, she studied physics at Imperial College London, and from 2005 to 2007 completed a PGCE at Brunel University London. From 2007 to 2008, she studied for a master's degree in comparative education at UCL's Institute of Education.
From 2003 to 2012, Moran was a maths and physics teacher at the International School of Brussels, and at two schools in London: Queensmead School and Southbank International School. Between 2009 and 2013 she worked as a part-time course tutor for Oxford Study Courses, a company that helps International Baccalaureate teachers and students, and from 2013 she was full-time academic manager.
Moran was selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Battersea at the 2010 general election and came in third place. She also stood as a candidate for the West Central constituency in the 2012 London Assembly election, coming fourth.
Moran contested Oxford West and Abingdon at the 2015 general election, coming second. She was selected for the seat again at the 2017 general election and won the seat from Nicola Blackwood, a Conservative who was then a junior minister for health, with 26,256 votes (43.7%) and a majority of 816. Moran became the first UK Member of Parliament of Palestinian descent and the first female Liberal Democrat MP from an ethnic minority background.
In June 2017, Moran was named Liberal Democrat spokesperson for education, science and young people in the House of Commons. That month she used her maiden speech to call for fairer funding for schools, and in July 2017 she spoke out against the closure of all the Sure Start children's centres in Oxfordshire earlier in the year. Also in July 2017, Moran was jeered at for accusing the Conservatives of underfunding a new scheme to provide 30 hours of free child care for the children of working parents. Later in 2017, she was appointed a member of the Public Accounts Committee, which is responsible for overseeing government expenditure.
In May 2019, Moran announced that, being a relatively new MP, she would not be running in the 2019 Liberal Democrats leadership election. She had been considered a frontrunner to replace Vince Cable as leader, following his announcement in September 2018 that he intended to step down from the post. At the 2019 general election she stood for re-election, increasing her majority to 8,943. In March 2020, Moran announced that she would be running in the 2020 leadership election. Moran finished in second place with 35.6% of the vote, losing to Ed Davey, the Acting-Co Leader.
Moran has also been a leading voice in the call for a full review of the GCSE history curriculum. She argues that to tackle institutional racism in society students must be taught of Britain's colonial past and the injustices that took place within it. In 2020 over 250,000 people signed a petition calling for 'Britain's colonial history to be made a compulsory part of the curriculum' which prompted Moran and 30 other cross-party MP's to apply greater pressure on the government to make significant changes to the history curriculum.
In an interview with The Times, Moran stated that she suffered from depression when she was a student and attributed it to a negative self-image resulting from the social stigma of obesity. She underwent stomach-stapling surgery to assist her in losing weight.
In 2013, Moran and her then boyfriend Richard Davis were briefly questioned by police, after she slapped him during an argument in their hotel room at the Liberal Democrat Federal Conference. No charge was brought, but the relationship subsequently ended.
On 2 January 2020, Moran revealed in an interview with PinkNews that she is pansexual; she is believed to be the first UK parliamentarian to come out as pansexual. Moran also disclosed that she was in a stable relationship with Rosy Cobb, formerly a Liberal Democrat press officer. Cobb was suspended by the party during the previous general election over an accusation that she had forged an email.
2019 UK general election
|Liberal Democrats||Layla Moran||31,340||53.3||9.5|
|Brexit Party||Allison Wild||829||1.4|
|Liberal Democrats hold||Swing||6.9|
2017 UK general election
|Liberal Democrats||Layla Moran||26,256||43.7||14.8|
|Liberal Democrats gain from Conservative||Swing||9.1|
2015 UK general election
|Liberal Democrats||Layla Moran||16,571||28.9||13.1|
|National Health Action||Helen Salisbury||723||1.3|
|Socialist (GB)||Mike Foster||66||0.1|
2012 London Assembly election
|Liberal Democrats||Layla Moran||10,035||6.9||-2.7|
2010 UK general election
|Liberal Democrats||Layla Moran||7,176||14.7||−0.1|
|Hugh Salmon for Battersea Party||Hugh Salmon||168||0.3||N/A|
|Conservative gain from Labour||Swing||+6.5|
- "Layla Moran MP". UK Parliament. Archived from the original on 3 June 2021.
- Duffy, Nick (2 January 2020). "Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran comes out as pansexual: 'Pan is about the person, not the gender'". PinkNews. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
- "Layla Moran: Lib Dem MP announces she is pansexual". BBC News. 3 January 2020. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
- "Lib Dem becomes first MP of Palestinian descent". inews.co.uk. 9 June 2017. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
- "Meet Layla Moran, Britain's first ever MP of Palestinian descent". uk.news.yahoo.com. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
- "Layla Moran's CV". Democracy Club. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
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- Simons, Ned (7 December 2017). "17 From '17: Layla Moran On Her 'Anarchism' And The Demise Of British Politics". HuffPost. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
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- Walker, Peter (21 July 2019). "Labour launches webpage in effort to drive out antisemitism". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
- "Lib Dem becomes first MP of Palestinian descent". inews.co.uk. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
- HSLD 2020 Leadership Contest Interviews: Layla Moran MP – Interviewed, Wednesday 15th July 2020 by Toby Keynes, HSLD Chair. Retrieved 27 August 2020.
- Hoyle, Charlie (6 June 2017). "Layla Moran: British-Palestinian, Liberal Democrat, and running for government". The New Arab. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
- Espinoza, Javier (11 June 2017). "UK general election delivers most diverse parliament in history". Financial Times. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
- "Heads Weekly Report 16-07-2017". Roedean School. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
- "Moran, Layla, MP (Lib Dem) Oxford West and Abingdon, since 2017 | WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO". www.ukwhoswho.com. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U289527. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
- "A new look House of Commons?". BBC News. 9 April 2010. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
- "Results 2012 | London Elects". londonelects.org.uk. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
- "Election results 2017: Lib Dems gain Oxford West and Abingdon". BBC News. 9 June 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
- "Layla Moran becomes the first politician of Palestinian background to stand in parliament". The New Arab. 10 June 2017. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
- Keown, Callum (16 June 2017). "Newly-elected MP Layla Moran made Liberal Democrat education spokeswoman". Oxford Mail. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
- "MP Layla Moran will use maiden speech to call for fair funding for schools". Herald Series. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
- D'Arcy, Mark (7 July 2017). "Week ahead in Parliament". BBC News. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
- "Social Inequality (Children's Centres) – Hansard Online". hansard.parliament.uk. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
- Revesz, Rachael (6 September 2017). "At PMQs today, the treatment of a new female MP showed the Tories' true colours". The Independent. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
- "I was silenced when I tried to question Theresa May on her broken promise for free childcare. Well, you can't silence me now". The Independent. 7 September 2017. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
- "Membership – Public Accounts Committee". UK Parliament. Archived from the original on 18 November 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
- Briant, Nathan (14 May 2019). "MP Moran will not be the Lib Dems' next leader". Oxford Mail. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
- "Layla Moran Responds To Lib Dem Leadership Speculation". LBC. 12 February 2019. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
- Walker, Peter (7 September 2018). "Vince Cable to step down 'after Brexit is resolved or stopped'". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
- "Layla Moran re-elected with larger majority". 13 December 2019. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
- "Liberal Democrat leadership: Layla Moran enters race". 8 March 2020. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
- Stewart, Heather (27 August 2020). "Ed Davey elected Liberal Democrat leader". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 August 2020.
- "Specification at a glance". Retrieved 3 April 2021.
- "'Decolonise Our Education': Government Responds To Calls To Review History Curriculum". Retrieved 3 April 2021.
- "Coronavirus: 'Right' to delay contract transparency in pandemic, says Hancock". BBC News. 21 February 2021. Retrieved 21 February 2021.
- Harpin, Lee. "MP of Palestinian descent reads out names of Gaza children killed this week". jewishnews.timesofisrael.com. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
- "UK should recognise state of Palestine, argues Layla Moran MP". The Muslim News. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
- Billen, Andrew (23 May 2019). "Layla Moran, her boyfriend, and a slap that haunts her". The Times. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
- Moran, Layla (11 July 2019). "I know from painful experience how poisonous the debate around obesity is". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
- Moran, Layla. "Yesterday in amongst the madness, I spoke up about a very personal battle I've had with my weight. I hope it helps to de-stigmatise that I had an operation to help me. It was never a silver bullet, but it worked for me". Facebook. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
- "Lib Dem MP Layla Moran slapped partner at conference". BBC News. 25 March 2019. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
- Walker, Will (24 March 2019). "Oxford MP admits slapping ex-boyfriend in row over computer cable". Oxford Mail. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
- Perraudin, Frances (2 January 2020). "Lib Dem MP Layla Moran announces same-sex relationship". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
- "Oxford West & Abingdon Parliamentary constituency". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
- "GENERAL ELECTION: List of Oxfordshire parliamentary candidates published". The Oxford Times.
- "South Live: Thursday 11 May". BBC News.
- "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- "GLA 2012 elections. Constituency member of the London Assembly results". London elects. 4 May 2012. Archived from the original on 3 May 2016.
- "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- Official website
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament
for Oxford West and Abingdon