Layla: I’m not standing for leader this time

A statement this morning from Layla Moran:

I am very grateful to the large number of constituents, supporters, party members and elected representatives who have encouraged me to throw my hat into the ring in the forthcoming Liberal Democrat Leadership contest.

As a relatively new MP, however, my first priority has to be to serve my constituents to the best of my ability.

I hope they consider that I am doing a good job so far, but I do not believe that I would be able to continue to do so to the standard they have the right to expect if I took on the busy role of Party Leader as well.

For this reason, I wrote to local party members last week to let them know that I would not be standing for the Leadership this time.

We would be very surprised if any candidate made their intentions known before the European Election on May 23rd. However, we would be very surprised if Ed Davey and Jo Swinson did not put themselves forward.

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  • I am very pleased to read this announcement even though I want a leader who was not involved in the Coalition government. Perhaps I am mistaken in thinking this is a necessary pre-requisite to our recovery as we are having a large upturn in support with a leader who was a leading member of the Coalition government.

  • A shame, as Layla would probably have got my support as a fresh new face for the party.

    But – let us never forget – we ask a lot of our MPs and they have the right to step back where they feel it appropriate.

  • Yeovil Yokel 14th May '19 - 12:35pm

    A wise decision, which may increase her chances of becoming leader in the future, and will increase Jo Swinson’s chances now.

  • This seems like the right decision to me, hopefully Layla has a long career in front of her & will be playing an important role in The Party.

  • Her many fans (including me) are disappointed but I for one can understand her feelings at this stage. So, next time perhaps ?
    In the meantime, Layla, the new Leader (whoever she is) will need a new Deputy Leader, yes ?

  • David Warren 14th May '19 - 1:45pm

    Not a surprise, it is probably a bit to soon for Layla and she does a very marginal seat to concentrate on.

    As for who should be leader I like the Green Party arrangement where they have had a job share for what is a really demanding role.

    So how about Ed and Jo as co leaders?

  • Peter Watson 14th May '19 - 1:57pm

    I think that the recent controversy – which passed with relatively little comment at the time (helped by a censorial approach here at LDV) – would have come back to bite her in interviews as leader in any forthcoming general election campaign. A bit more time and a bit more water under a bridge and that would be much less of a risk.

  • Vince Cable, interviewed on Channel 4 news, stated that were he involved, he’d take a purely pragmatic approach to any future discussions about offering confidence and supply, or support on a ‘policy by policy’ basis, to Labour. Were Labour to be the largest party after a GE, his simple test : Lib Dem policies being implemented. It’s essential the next leader shares that pragmatism and doesn’t rule anything out. Just as it’s also essential he/she is both ‘liberal’ and ‘democratic’.

  • Martin Land 14th May '19 - 2:19pm

    A shame. Mediocrity triumphant.

  • marcstevens 14th May '19 - 4:15pm

    Norman Lamb should also stand for Leader, very much admired beyond the Party and he has moved beyond the coalition years. There is nothing mediocre about any of the other candidates Ed Davey or Jo Swinson, both are speaking well in press interviews at the moment and sharpening up their acts.

  • Paul Barker 14th May '19 - 5:44pm

    I don’t see any danger of mediocrity, I look forward to an intelligent & respectful debate.
    Norman Lamb can’t really be Leader until after Brexit is settled.
    In the present conditions I dont see how any Coalition with Labour or The Tories could work. Who would we be negotiating with ? There would be no point agreeing things with whichever faction was in charge when they would be continually undermined by Rebels from other groups.

  • Richard Underhill 14th May '19 - 6:56pm

    The reality is that the economy is a very important issue and we are lucky to have a heavyweight such as Vince Cable, who will remain as an MP.
    Even Gordon Brown suffered from Vince Cable’s analysis.

  • Katharine Pindar 14th May '19 - 9:13pm

    Vince has still a good deal to offer our party in the development of our industrial and economic policies, as I trust he will. We also need I believe a clear stance from our leader, present and to come, on restoring the Beveridge social contract and beginning to right the wrongs of our unequal society as proposed by the UN Rapporteur Philip Alston. However, I also hope (prompted I admit by some criticism of our party by Andrew Rawnsley in Sunday’s Observer, whether justified or not) that our leaders will take steps after the understandably divisive nature of the Euro election to reach out again to Change UK and propose working together on progressive campaigns. There will be parties beyond the major part of Labour for us to negotiate with when the next General Election comes.

  • Sue Sutherland 15th May '19 - 12:28pm

    I think this is a wise decision but I had hoped that Layla might stand as President of the party but I guess that this would also be too demanding a role while she grows her constituency majority. Like everyone else I’m hoping Vince will take on the economy after resigning as leader. I’d like to see Ed Davey in charge of tackling climate change because he did a good job in Coalition and the Tories have dismantled much of what he achieved, so we have a good reputation to build on. I think he could take on that role with that of deputy leader.
    So from the likely suspects for the Leadership contest I would go with Jo. She is a young woman with vigour and enthusiasm and would appeal to ordinary people. She was a Coalition member but not one of the privileged group, she went to a comprehensive school so most of us can relate to her. During Coalition we stopped appealing to those who wanted us to stand up for the wo/man on the Clapham Omnibus. We are getting their support back but need to do more while Labour is losing its working class vote to the right wing who are deliberately targeting them. We used to stand up for ordinary people and must do so again if the country is ever going to get over Brexit.

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