Layla Moran’s leadership ambitions on hold as Lib Dems delay the contest
Layla Moran – the UK Member of Parliament for Oxford West and Abingdon – has announced that she will be contesting the leadership ballot for the Liberal Democrat party, but the Covid-19 pandemic has thrown a spanner in the works.
The leadership of the party became vacant when the previous leader lost her seat in the general election. The leadership contest was expected to have been concluded by July, but the party has decided to postpone the voting process for 12 months while the country grapples with the global disruption caused by Covid-19.
“Parliament no longer sits and we’ve given the government unprecedented emergency powers, but once this is over we must be sure to reclaim the freedoms we’ve temporarily surrendered…” Moran told The New European. “The world we knew and understood before this virus struck will have changed beyond recognition by then. There’s a political battle that we are already seeing beginning between those who reckon it should be a much tougher world – a place where the state is scaled back and only the fittest survive – and others who see, even at this dark hour, how much better things can be.”
“I think it’s given us a moment of enlightenment…” added Moran. “The old politics, the right-wing press, even Brexit which we had all been fighting over so passionately until this happened, all seem suddenly unimportant. This has given us a new sense of perspective. I think out of this terrible global ordeal ahead of us, good may yet come, but only if we are prepared to be open to it.”
Who is Layla Moran?
In January, Moran announced via Twitter that she is pansexual and in a relationship with a woman. In her post, Moran confirmed that she’s in a relationship with ex-Lib Dem press officer Rosy Cobb – also confirming that she has previously only had relationships with men.
“It’s about the person themselves,” said Ms Moran, speaking to the media about identifying as pansexual.
Pansexuality describes those who are attracted to a person regardless of their sex or gender.
“It was really wonderful on the one hand, but also quite surprising for me in how I had identified before…” said Moran, talking about her relationship. “I feel now is the time to talk about it, because as an MP I spend a lot of my time defending our community and talking about our community. I want people to know I am part of our community as well.”
Moran told the press that her family and friends have been supportive, but some people had suggested being in a same-sex relationship could damage her career.
“They definitely would not have said anything like that had she been a man…” added Moran. “Parliament is a weird, backwards place. There are a few women who are brilliant role models who have come out in their lesbian relationships.”