Moran in 2019
|Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Education|
17 June 2017
|Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport|
21 August 2019 - 6 January 2020
|The Baroness Bonham-Carter|
|Member of Parliament|
for Oxford West and Abingdon
9 June 2017
Layla Michelle Moran
12 September 1982
Hammersmith, London, England
|Political party||Liberal Democrats|
|Relatives||James Moran (father)|
|Education||Imperial College London (BSc)|
Brunel University London (PGCE)
University College London (MA)
Moran studied Physics at Imperial College London and worked as a maths and physics teacher before becoming an MP. She has served as the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for education since 2017, and served as spokesperson for digital, culture, media and sport from 2019 to 2020. She is Britain's first openly pansexual Member of Parliament.
Layla Michelle Moran was born in Hammersmith on 12 September 1982, the elder daughter of diplomat James Moran and Randa Moran, a Christian Palestinian from Jerusalem. Her great-grandfather was the Palestinian writer Wasif Jawhariyyeh, who published extensive memoirs. Moran describes herself as a British-Palestinian. 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." Moran identifies as a humanist.
Because her father was a diplomat for the European Union and its antecedents, Moran grew up in various countries, including Belgium, Greece, Ethiopia, Jamaica and Jordan. Moran attended private schools in Brussels, Kingston in Jamaica and Roedean School in Brighton. 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 UCL's Institute of Education.
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.
Moran was selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Battersea at the 2010 general election, where she came in third place. She also stood as a candidate for the West Central constituency in the 2012 London Assembly election, coming fourth.
Moran contested Oxford West and Abingdon at the 2015 general election, coming second. She was selected for the seat again at the 2017 general election, when she gained the seat from the health minister Nicola Blackwood with 26,256 votes (43.7%) and a majority of 816. Moran became the first UK Member of Parliament of Palestinian descent and the first female Liberal Democrat MP from an ethnic minority background. In June 2017, Moran was named as the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for education, science and young people in the House of Commons. That month 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. Also in July 2017, Moran 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. Later that year she was appointed a member of the Public Accounts Committee, responsible for overseeing government expenditures.
In May 2019, Moran announced that, being a relatively new MP, she would not be running in the 2019 Liberal Democrats leadership election. She had been considered a front-runner to replace Vince Cable as leader of the Liberal Democrats following his announcement in September 2018 that he intended to step down from the role. At the 2019 general election she stood for re-election, increasing her majority to 8,943. In March 2020, Moran announced that she would be running in the 2020 Liberal Democrats leadership election.
In an interview with The Times, Moran revealed that she had suffered from depression while a student, something she attributes to a negative self-image resulting from the social stigma of obesity. Moran underwent stomach-stapling surgery to assist her in losing weight.
Moran and her then boyfriend Richard Davis were arrested and briefly detained after an argument in their hotel room at a 2013 Liberal Democrat Federal Conference over a lost computer cable ended with her slapping him. The charges were later dropped. The relationship subsequently ended.
Moran announced in January 2020 that she was in a same-sex relationship with Rosy Cobb, the Liberal Democrats' former head of press, and identifies as pansexual. Cobb was suspended by the party after being accused of forging an email.