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

Layla Moran

Official portrait of Layla Moran crop 2.jpg
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Assumed office
21 August 2019
LeaderJo Swinson
Preceded byThe Baroness Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Education
Assumed office
17 June 2017
LeaderSir Vince Cable
Jo Swinson
Preceded bySarah Olney
Member of Parliament
for Oxford West and Abingdon
Assumed office
9 June 2017
Preceded byNicola Blackwood
Majority816 (1.4%)
Personal details
Layla Michelle Moran

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

Moran is the first UK Member of Parliament of Palestinian descent and the first female Liberal Democrat MP from an ethnic minority background.[3]

She has served as the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Education since 2017, and spokesperson for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport since 2019.

Early life and careerEdit

Moran was born in Hammersmith to a British father and 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."

Due to her father, James Moran, being a diplomat for the European Union and its antecedents, Moran grew up in various countries, including Belgium, Greece, Ethiopia, Jamaica and Jordan.[4][7][8]

Moran attended private schools in Brussels, Kingston (Jamaica) and Brighton (Roedean School). She completed A-Levels in maths, physics, chemistry and French. From 2000 to 2003, she studied 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 the Institute of Education.[9][10]

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.[9]

Early political activitiesEdit

In 2009, before being selected as a Liberal Democrat candidate, Moran expressed guarded optimism about a possible coalition agreement with the Conservative Party. "I think we can work with them. I think it would be stupid not to. But I think we would have to control them as much as we possibly can and get ourselves elected off the back of it," she told BBC News.[11] However, after Conservative Party leader David Cameron made public overtures to the Liberal Democrats, speaking of their shared ground, and the possibility of a centre-right alliance, she stated: "I am left in a state of mild shock at what he just tried to do: make the public believe that there aren’t many differences between the Lib Dems and the Tories and scaremongering our supporters into voting for them".[12]

Moran was selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Battersea at the 2010 general election, She told BBC News at the time that "I'm just as sick as everyone else is of how politics has been working in this country in recent years. We need to change the way the system runs and give a voice to those people who haven't necessarily been represented."[13] On her election website at the time appeared her assertion: "This is our chance to build a fairer Britain from the ashes of a government that took us into Iraq, into a recession and into the worst Westminster scandal since the Tory sleaze of the 1990s".[14]

Later, Moran stood as a candidate for the London Assembly at the 2012 election.

Within the Liberal Democrats, she has been an elected member of the International Relations Committee and also a former co-chair of the Parliamentary Candidates Association.

Parliamentary careerEdit

Moran was selected to contest Oxford West and Abingdon at the 2015 general election. She was selected for the seat again at the 2017 general election which she won, and gained the seat from junior Health Minister Nicola Blackwood with a swing of 14.8% against the other parties, with 26,256 votes (43.7%) and a majority of 816.[9][15]

In June 2017, Moran was named as the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Education, Science & Young People in the House of Commons.[16]

Later that year, Moran was appointed as a member of the Public Accounts Committee, responsible for overseeing government expenditures.[17]

In May 2019, Moran formally announced that she would not be running for party leadership in the 2019 Liberal Democrats leadership election.[18] Moran had been considered a front-runner to replace Sir Vince Cable as leader of the Liberal Democrats following his announcement in September 2018 that he intended to step down from the role.[19][20] The decision left colleague Jo Swinson as 'the clear favourite' to take over the role.[21]

Education and childcareEdit

In June 2017, 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.[22][23][24] Also in July 2017, she 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.[25][26]

Other viewsEdit

She believes in Israel’s "right to exist", supporting the two-state solution.[27]

Personal lifeEdit

In an interview with The Times, Moran revealed that she had suffered from depression while studying at university, something she attributes to a negative self-image resulting from the social stigma of obesity. Moran was prescribed the antidepressant Prozac and underwent therapy to manage her depression, while dieting to manage her obesity (126 kg at its peak).[28][29] Aged 23, Moran underwent stomach-stapling surgery to assist her in losing weight.[30][31]

Moran and her then boyfriend were arrested and briefly detained by police following a row between them at a 2013 Liberal Democrat Federal Conference that culminated in Moran slapping him in their hotel room.[28] In a statement made in 2019 about the incident, she said "in the heat of the moment, I slapped him because I felt threatened".[32] Moran and her partner were released from custody after charges were dropped. The couple subsequently ended the relationship.[33]

She is a school governor in Botley, Oxfordshire.[7]


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ "Layla Moran". Parliament UK.
  3. ^ "Layla Moran becomes the first politician of Palestinian background to stand in parliament". The New Arab. 10 June 2017. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  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. ^ a b Hoyle, Charlie (6 June 2017). "Layla Moran: British-Palestinian, Liberal Democrat, and running for government". The New Arab. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  8. ^ Espinoza, Javier (11 June 2017). "UK general election delivers most diverse parliament in history". Financial Times. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  9. ^ a b c "Layla Moran's CV". Democracy Club. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  10. ^ "Heads Weekly Report 16-07-2017". Roedean School. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  11. ^ Wheeler, Brian (8 March 2009). "Lib Dems and Tories: Deal or no deal?". BBC News. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  12. ^ Suroor, Hasan (16 December 2016). "End of two-party dominance in U.K.?". The Hindu. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  13. ^ "A new look House of Commons?". BBC News. 9 April 2010. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  14. ^ "Layla Moran for Battersea". Layla Moran. 2010. Archived from the original on 25 April 2010.
  15. ^ "Election results 2017: Lib Dems gain Oxford West and Abingdon". BBC News. 9 June 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  16. ^ Keown, Callum (16 June 2017). "Newly-elected MP Layla Moran made Liberal Democrat education spokeswoman". Oxford Mail. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  17. ^ "Membership – Public Accounts Committee". UK Parliament. Archived from the original on 18 November 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  18. ^ Briant, Nathan (14 May 2019). "MP Moran will not be the Lib Dems' next leader". Oxford Mail. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  19. ^ "Layla Moran Responds To Lib Dem Leadership Speculation". LBC. 12 February 2019. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  20. ^ Walker, Peter (7 September 2018). "Vince Cable to step down 'after Brexit is resolved or stopped'". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  21. ^ Settle, Michael (14 May 2019). "Jo Swinson's chance to succeed Vince Cable as Lib Dem leader boosted after Layla Moran pulls out". The Herald. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  22. ^ "MP Layla Moran will use maiden speech to call for fair funding for schools". Herald Series. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  23. ^ D'Arcy, Mark (7 July 2017). "Week ahead in Parliament". BBC News. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  24. ^ "Social Inequality (Children's Centres) – Hansard Online". Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ "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.
  27. ^ Walker, Peter (21 July 2019). "Labour launches webpage in effort to drive out antisemitism". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  28. ^ a b Billen, Andrew (23 May 2019). "Layla Moran, her boyfriend, and a slap that haunts her". The Times. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  29. ^ Moran, Layla (11 July 2019). "I know from painful experience how poisonous the debate around obesity is". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  30. ^ 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.
  31. ^ Billen, Andrew (23 May 2019). "Layla Moran, her boyfriend, and a slap that haunts her". The Times. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  32. ^ "Lib Dem MP Layla Moran slapped partner at conference". BBC News. 25 March 2019. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  33. ^ Walker, Will (24 March 2019). "Oxford MP admits slapping ex-boyfriend in row over computer cable". Oxford Mail. Retrieved 4 April 2019.

External linksEdit