Layla Moran on her Palestinian heritage, and what she’s fighting for at Westminster

Layla Moran ht the headlines this week when Tory MPs jeered her as she got up to ask the Prime Minister a question.

She’s now been speaking to Times Red Box about the issues that matter to her.

She talks about her Palestinian heritage:

She is also the first member of parliament of Palestinian descent, through her mother, a Christian whose relatives became a “typical diaspora family” after they were forced out of their home in Jerusalem.

She has already been adopted an unofficial ambassador for the Palestinian community in parliament, but is reluctant to be defined solely by her heritage. “I think I could not get away with not being an ambassador for the Palestinian people but that wasn’t why I was elected. It was to fight for education and the NHS.”

Ms Moran says there is a desire amongst Palestinians to show a different face to the world. “They want people to see that unlike refugee-ridden, poor, downtrodden peoples, in fact Arabs are very proud of our culture and we are intelligent and articulate and talking about that things that matter like education and health.”

She has wanted to be an MP for some time:

“I joined the Lib Dems to become an MP, unusually, and that’s a really weird thing to do I appreciate,” she says. “Politics doesn’t have to be tribal. I will work with anyone who shares the values that I do.”

She talked about why she wants to see a referendum on a Brexit deal

Like many in her party, Ms Moran, whose father worked as an EU ambassador, is dismayed by the Brexit vote, and is adamant that the final deal with the EU should be put to a second referendum. “It doesn’t feel like this is what people voted for when they voted to take back control,” she says.

But in a sign that the government is also reaching out across party lines – and more specifically to physicists- on Brexit, Ms Moran was surprised to find herself invited to a meeting at the department of business, energy and industrial strategy to air her views on the future of Euratom, the European atomic energy organisation.

She also talks about how good it is to have Vince as her mentor:

Of Mr Cable she says: “He offered to be my mentor, he has been wonderful, he takes the time to whisper in my ear about ‘you know try for this obscure parliamentary process here’ and that’s partly why I’ve managed to get so much done because he’s been encouraging me in that way.”

The whole interview is available here. (£)

 

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One Comment

  • The Lib Dems need more members from the BME communities to stand for elected office. This is something the Party has to investigate to make our Party more appealing to BME communities.

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