Layla Moran: The momentum is with my campaign – vote for me to move us forward together!

Each week LDV invites leadership candidates to submit one article. This is this week’s article form Layla Moran

Today’s the day! Ballots are finally dropping into inboxes and through letterboxes. I’m urging Lib Dem members to vote for me, to move our party and our country forward – and the momentum is with my campaign.

Let’s be honest – there is a burning need for change. At just six per cent in the polls, we are in sink or swim territory. Our country desperately needs a strong liberal voice to challenge Boris Johnson’s increasingly isolationist and regressive Conservative Government.

I’ve been clear throughout this contest: to change our country, we must first change our party. Because only by renewing ourselves and rebuilding trust will we win again. And only by winning will we be able to deliver progressive, liberal change for communities across the country.

In my plan for our party, I’ve outlined five key steps to strengthen our party at every level and win again from the bottom up. It starts with learning the lessons from the past decade, and sending a clear signal to voters that we are renewed as a party, and can credibly communicate a progressive message. We can do this by electing me as leader!

After this, we will win back trust and support by living our values as a party, listening to voters, empowering our activists to deliver a core message that resonates with a broad base of supporters

It’s an approach I’ve tried and tested in my seat. My team and I built a plan and a vision which gained support from moderate conservative voters, as well as parties on the centre-left. We grew from the ground up, winning council seat after council seat before I was elected in 2017. The result was an increase in our council base, a 10,000 Conservative majority overturned, and a new Lib Dem MP.

I want to replicate these local winning tactics nationally.

In the same online leaflet, you can read the building blocks of my vision for our country.

There is still a place for bold, liberal ideas in the UK. I know this because, since the December elections, I have been listening. I travelled to talk to voters in Leeds, Sheffield, Wales, Devon and Cornwall and I’ve since held over 300 online listening sessions with our Party members and voters.

Opinions and ideas from the grassroots have informed my vision. And it’s underpinned by the liberal notion that everyone should have an equal opportunity to thrive, and the security to live life in the way they choose.

My vision and campaign are getting coverage in the media, too. In the last six weeks, I’ve had over 370 media mentions and appearances in outlets across the political spectrum, from the Guardian to the Telegraph.

With the right message and messenger, media cut-through is achievable, and it is necessary for our revival. Just this weekend, I was on Sophy Ridge on Sky and interviewed in the Observer. That is the level of exposure the Lib Dems need, permanently.

I’ve been overwhelmed by the support so far. From former Liberal Democrat MPs, including the wonderful Lynne Featherstone, to thousands of members who, like me, want to move our party forward. I’ve been delighted with the support from outside the party, too. Both Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Deborah Meaden and Scientists for EU campaigner Mike Galsworthy, for instance, have endorsed me and my campaign!

In this leadership election, I’ve shown that I am the candidate who can move us on from the last decade, rebuild trust and power a political comeback. The momentum is with my campaign to move our party and country forward, and I’m urging members to show their support by voting for me, and voting for change, today.

* Layla Moran is the Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West and Abingdon

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Lorenzo Cherin 30th Jul '20 - 10:38pm

    I thank Layla for her approach during this campaign. I have admired and liked her since I heard her before she became an MP. I was keen for to stand when Vince did. I wanted her to become leader after that period of Brexit divisiveness.

    But Corona virus arrived. Ed at the helm needed to be supported. I supported him. He is a good and able man and politician and I felt an election unnecessary yet.

    We have one now. I wrestled over it. What to do. Heart or head? A not very accurate dilemma. It has turned into something more interesting. My heart and head now says go for it. My longstanding feeling has no caution.

    Throughout these months of inaction , dithering, inconsistency, I have wrestled with something greater. Why a government so unclear, so unsure, so uncertain?! Systems, poor, responses, terrible, pandemic more awful than it might have been.

    A level of competence is needed. And compassion. And a voice to express both . Also a bravery to say that which only those wedded to ultra libertarianism, would call illiberal. A social liberal or social democratic voice that puts people first and denies that to secure people, is a lockdown, and reveals, to protect people is to help those who are down.

    Layla Moran has such a voice. It is eloquent. It is appealing. It is measured. It is strong. Today i declared fully and intend to campaign more fully for her to become leader of the Liberal Democrats.

  • The Lib Dems need to be realistic (I know that’s against your nature), but when the GE draws near Layla Moran is going to face some serious questions about her private life. I think she will get eaten alive by the likes of Andrew Neal. Frankly she’s not worth the risk. Ed Davey is a good solid candidate, he won’t set the world alight, but he’s by far the best of the two.

  • I agree with Malc. We had a leadership election before when people were too nice to ask awkward questions of one of the candidates and it blew up within 24 hours (and never went away)

  • Steve Trevethan 31st Jul '20 - 11:01am

    Dear Layla,
    Thank you for standing for standing for the leadership.
    Thank you for giving us a choice.
    Is your economic theory of choice Neo-Liberal Economics?
    If so, why?
    If not, what is your economic theory of choice and why?
    Was the attack on Lybia a wise move? (Please give reasons.)

  • Alex Macfie 31st Jul '20 - 1:28pm

    Layla has already given an explanation for her “private life” issues, and it’s a closed matter with nothing more that can really be said about it. This is more than can be said for
    Tim over his issue. And actually Layla seems to handle hostile questioning better than Ed does. As I’m sure we all know Ed recently lost his cool in an interview with Julia Hartley-Brewer. I don’t care much for JHB’s tone, but Ed came off worse. On the other hand I recently came across an interview JHB did with Layla from 2018 (on Tuition Fees, no less) and Layla handled JHB’s hostile tone and constant interruptions very well.

    Ed, on the other hand, will be grilled constantly over his record in Coalition, the same as Jo was. And so far he hasn’t handled that sort of questioning well either. And even if he did, the reality is that time spent discussing the Coalition is time not spent discussing our current and future plans, so I’d rather have someone who can shut it down with 4 words: “I was not involved.”

  • As far as I’m aware Layla has always been open and honest about her private life where it might rightly or wrongly be brought into the public light. She’s also shared other information like her struggles with obesity, that takes courage and makes her feel more relatable:

    She seems to share a similar vision of what modern Liberalism should be doing, I like her line about enabling people to “live their best life” – to me that sums up what Liberalism is about. We aim to enable people by removing the barriers they may face. We don’t tell people what to do or what to think. It’s a good narrative that can be used both to sell the ideological purpose of the party and to provide a framework that we can try and craft policy around.

  • Peter Watson 2nd Aug '20 - 1:46pm

    Andrew T “As far as I’m aware Layla has always been open and honest about her private life where it might rightly or wrongly be brought into the public light.”
    I think that the “Andrew Neil leader’s interview” issue that risks coming back to haunt Layla and the party is the one that appeared to lead to her not standing in the last leadership election. Referring to that topic was blocked on this site but elsewhere I recall that the Twitter thread in which fellow Lib Dems applauded her bravery left a lot of criticisms and unanswered questions around attitudes towards domestic violence and hypocrisy about gender. A good response will be needed to that obvious line of attack.

  • Alex Macfie 3rd Aug '20 - 1:24pm

    Peter Watson: No, the main Layla didn’t stand in 2019 was her then tiny majority. As the December election showed in spades, the Lib Dem Leader’s seat is vulnerable. The fact that she came clean about the incident, and all involved have moved on from it, means that any questions on it would just cover the same old ground and could be shut down easily by an effective response.

  • Peter Watson 3rd Aug '20 - 11:22pm

    Alex Macfie “the main Layla didn’t stand in 2019 was her then tiny majority”
    Whatever the official or unofficial reasons for not standing last time, if Layla Moran is the leader, she and the party will need to have good answers to easily predictable questions arising from that incident which could otherwise result in something like Tim Farron’s car-crash interview about “sin”. It isn’t necessarily a problem: there’s plenty of time to rehearse responses in the leadership campaign and, afterwards, to prepare for any leader’s interviews in a few years time, but simply ignoring it could be a recipe for disaster.

  • Alex Macfie 4th Aug '20 - 9:34am

    I would take anything Nick Tyrone says with a pinch of salt, particularly about the Lib Dems. This is the guy who regretted Darren Grimes’ defection to the Tories, attributing it to our obsession with delivering Focus leaflets. Tyrone may have had a scintilla of a point there, but he ignored the main reason Grimes crossed over, which is Grimes’ views diverging far from the mainstream of Lib Dems (especially on Brexit). apropos the Spectator article posted above, a merger between the Lib Dems and Greens is rather unlikely. While there is much overlap between the Lib Dems and the sensible wing of the Green Party, we would not get on with Green Party’s more eco-fundamentalist and ‘watermelon’ wings, which includes members as antagonistic towards us as Labour tribalists are. And that’s without personality issues that tarnish the relations between the two parties in some areas (such as my own i Kingston).
    Anyway I for one would be very happy to see the likes of Tyrone stop pretending to have any sort of affinity with us.

  • David Evans 4th Aug '20 - 10:56am

    Alex, indeed questions that just cover the same old ground could be shut down easily by an effective response, except that we all know that an effective response to that sort of question doesn’t exist.

    Questions like those mentioned or even more telling “Do you really believe that you can look into a person’s soul?” or “Was it really top priority to put forward a bill so that schoolchildren have the legal right to insist they can go to the toilet?” don’t go away. They are questions about a candidate’s judgement and character on matters that are in the public domain and relevant to voters concerns.

    Hoping a quick one liner to someone like Andrew Neil will make them go away, would only show a startling inability to learn from past mistakes.

  • Alex Macfie 6th Aug '20 - 9:42am

    @David Evans: I had to google this “look into a person’s soul” thing because I had no idea what it was about. It turns out to be something she said in a Parliamentary debate on trans rights in November 2018. It was picked up at the time by Spectator journalist James Kirkup, and then last December by controversialist web magazine Unherd. Maybe people are ranting about it all over the anti-trans blogosphere and Twittersphere, I dunno, but it hasn’t had much mainstream traction so far. So most people who hear that question, absent the context, would have no idea what it’s about or why the interviewer is asking such a peculiar question. To be truthful, most ordinary people don’t give a Castlemaine about the issue one way or the other.

    Of course this doesn’t mean it won’t gain traction with some commentators making a fetish out of hounding her over it. This is particularly true given the tendency of the BBC to amplify fringe opinion in the name of “free speech” and “balance”. But It’s wrong to assume that there are no effective responses to questions that might be asked of her; Layla has thus far shown herself able to answer hostile questions well (on this and other issues), certainly much better than, say, Tim Farron was. (He could have shut down the “sin” questions with a response along the lines of “That’s not for me to say, ask a Bishop,” followed by outlining what Lib Dems have done and would do to promote gay rights.

    As for the question about schoolchildren using the bathroom, that was a Private Members Bill, of which she has introduced several on different topics, as Backbench MPs often do when they get the opportunity. Another one was on repealing the Vagrancy Act. And therein you have the maings of an answer, as well as the point that Layla has been running her leadership campaign on mainstream issues. So that issue is not likely to be something she would prioritise as leader, who doesn’t set policy anyway.

  • @ Alex Macfie “While there is much overlap between the Lib Dems and the sensible wing of the Green Party”.

    And is there a ‘sensible wing’ in the Liberal Democrat Party, Alex ?

  • neil sandison 11th Aug '20 - 4:20pm

    Brilliant to put a face to the Great Lorenzo Cherin .so balanced and rational in his thinking and I agree we need a great communicator and Layla fits that bill.

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