Layla Moran

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Layla Moran

Official portrait of Layla Moran MP crop 2.jpg
Moran in 2019
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Education
Assumed office
17 June 2017
LeaderVince Cable
Jo Swinson
Ed Davey
Sal Brinton
Mark Pack
Preceded bySarah Olney
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
In office
21 August 2019 – 6 January 2020
LeaderJo Swinson
Ed Davey
Sal Brinton
Mark Pack
Preceded byThe Baroness Bonham-Carter
Succeeded byDaisy Cooper
Member of Parliament
for Oxford West and Abingdon
Assumed office
9 June 2017
Preceded byNicola Blackwood
Majority8,943 (15.2%)
Personal details
Layla Michelle Moran

(1982-09-12) 12 September 1982 (age 37)
Hammersmith, London, England
Political partyLiberal Democrats
RelativesJames Moran (father)
EducationImperial College London (BSc)
Brunel University London (PGCE)
University College London (MA) Edit this at Wikidata

Layla Michelle Moran (born 12 September 1982) is a British Liberal Democrat politician. She has served as the Member of Parliament for Oxford West and Abingdon since the 2017 general election.[1] She was re-elected in 2019.[2]

Moran studied Physics at Imperial College London and worked as a maths and physics teacher before becoming an MP. She has served as the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Education since 2017, and served as spokesperson for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport from 2019 to 2020. She is Britain's first openly pansexual Member of Parliament.

Early life and career[edit]

Layla Michelle Moran was born in Hammersmith on 12 September 1982,[3] the elder daughter of diplomat James Moran and Randa Moran, a Christian Palestinian mother from Jerusalem.[4][5] Her great-grandfather was the Palestinian writer Wasif Jawhariyyeh, who published extensive memoirs. Moran describes herself as a British-Palestinian.[6] 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."[7] Moran identifies as a humanist.[8]

Because her father was a diplomat for the European Union and its antecedents, Moran grew up in various countries, including Belgium, Greece, Ethiopia, Jamaica and Jordan.[4][9][10]

Moran attended private schools in Brussels, Kingston in Jamaica and Roedean School in Brighton.[11] From 2000 to 2003, she read Physics at Imperial College London, and from 2005 to 2007, she 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.[12]

From 2003 to 2012, Moran was a maths and physics teacher at the International School of Brussels and at two other 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 promoted to full-time academic manager.[13]

Political career[edit]

Moran was selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Battersea at the 2010 general election, where she came in third place.[14] She also stood as a candidate for West Central in the 2012 London Assembly election, coming fourth.[15]

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, when she gained the seat from the health minister Nicola Blackwood with 26,256 votes (43.7%) and a majority of 816.[13][16] Moran became the first UK Member of Parliament of Palestinian descent and the first female Liberal Democrat MP from an ethnic minority background.[17]

In June 2017, Moran was named as the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for education, science and young people in the House of Commons.[18] That month she used her maiden speech to call for fair funding in schools, and in July 2017 she spoke out against the closure of all of the Sure Start children's centres in Oxfordshire, which took place earlier in the year.[19][20][21] Also in July 2017, Moran was jeered at for accusing the Conservatives of underfunding a new scheme to provide 30 hours of free childcare for the children of working parents.[22][23] Later that year she was appointed a member of the Public Accounts Committee, responsible for overseeing government expenditures.[24]

In May 2019, Moran announced that, being a relatively new MP, she would not be running in the 2019 Liberal Democrats leadership election.[25] She had been considered a front-runner to replace Vince Cable as leader of the Liberal Democrats following his announcement in September 2018 that he intended to step down from the role.[26][27] At the 2019 general election she stood for re-election, increasing her majority to 8,943.[28]

In March 2020, Moran announced that she would be running in the 2020 Liberal Democrats leadership election.[29]

Personal life[edit]

In an interview with The Times, Moran revealed that she had suffered from depression while a student, something she attributes to a negative self-image resulting from the social stigma of obesity.[30][31] Moran underwent stomach-stapling surgery to assist her in losing weight.[30][32]

Moran and her then boyfriend Richard Davis were arrested and briefly detained after an argument in their hotel room at a 2013 Liberal Democrat Federal Conference over a lost computer cable ended with her slapping him.[30][33] The charges were later dropped. The relationship subsequently ended.[34]

Moran announced in January 2020 that she was in a same-sex relationship with Rosy Cobb, the Liberal Democrats' former head of press, and identifies as pansexual. Cobb was suspended by the party after being accused of forging an email.[35]


  1. ^ "Layla Moran". Parliament UK.
  2. ^ "Oxford West and Abingdon 'does not want to get Brexit done' says victorious Layla Moran". Oxford Mail. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
  3. ^ Carr,Tim; Dale, Iain; Waller, Robert (2017). The Politicos Guide to the New House of Commons 2017. London: Biteback Publishing. ISBN 978-1-78590-278-9.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ a b Simons, Ned (7 December 2017). "17 From '17: Layla Moran On Her 'Anarchism' And The Demise Of British Politics". HuffPost. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  5. ^ "Layla Moran". Libdems-org. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  6. ^ Walker, Peter (21 July 2019). "Labour launches webpage in effort to drive out antisemitism". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Lib Dem becomes first MP of Palestinian descent". Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  8. ^ The Telegraph. My life as a pansexual and why it means just one thing. Retrieved 28 April 2020
  9. ^ Hoyle, Charlie (6 June 2017). "Layla Moran: British-Palestinian, Liberal Democrat, and running for government". The New Arab. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  10. ^ Espinoza, Javier (11 June 2017). "UK general election delivers most diverse parliament in history". Financial Times. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  11. ^ "Heads Weekly Report 16-07-2017". Roedean School. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  12. ^ "Moran, Layla, MP (Lib Dem) Oxford West and Abingdon, since 2017 | WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO". doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U289527. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  13. ^ a b "Layla Moran's CV". Democracy Club. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  14. ^ "A new look House of Commons?". BBC News. 9 April 2010. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  15. ^ "Results 2012 | London Elects". Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  16. ^ "Election results 2017: Lib Dems gain Oxford West and Abingdon". BBC News. 9 June 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  17. ^ "Layla Moran becomes the first politician of Palestinian background to stand in parliament". The New Arab. 10 June 2017. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  18. ^ Keown, Callum (16 June 2017). "Newly-elected MP Layla Moran made Liberal Democrat education spokeswoman". Oxford Mail. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  19. ^ "MP Layla Moran will use maiden speech to call for fair funding for schools". Herald Series. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  20. ^ D'Arcy, Mark (7 July 2017). "Week ahead in Parliament". BBC News. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  21. ^ "Social Inequality (Children's Centres) – Hansard Online". Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ "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.
  24. ^ "Membership – Public Accounts Committee". UK Parliament. Archived from the original on 18 November 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  25. ^ Briant, Nathan (14 May 2019). "MP Moran will not be the Lib Dems' next leader". Oxford Mail. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  26. ^ "Layla Moran Responds To Lib Dem Leadership Speculation". LBC. 12 February 2019. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  27. ^ Walker, Peter (7 September 2018). "Vince Cable to step down 'after Brexit is resolved or stopped'". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  28. ^ "Layla Moran re-elected with larger majority". 13 December 2019. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  29. ^ "Liberal Democrat leadership: Layla Moran enters race". 8 March 2020. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  30. ^ a b c Billen, Andrew (23 May 2019). "Layla Moran, her boyfriend, and a slap that haunts her". The Times. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  31. ^ Moran, Layla (11 July 2019). "I know from painful experience how poisonous the debate around obesity is". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  32. ^ 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.
  33. ^ "Lib Dem MP Layla Moran slapped partner at conference". BBC News. 25 March 2019. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  34. ^ Walker, Will (24 March 2019). "Oxford MP admits slapping ex-boyfriend in row over computer cable". Oxford Mail. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  35. ^ Perraudin, Frances (2 January 2020). "Lib Dem MP Layla Moran announces same-sex relationship". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2 January 2020.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Nicola Blackwood
Member of Parliament
for Oxford West and Abingdon