UK’s first pansexual MP Layla Moran is running to be leader of the Liberal Democrats

Layla Moran

The UK’s first openly pansexual MP, Layla Moran, has entered the race to become leader of the Liberal Democrats.

The Oxford West and Abingdon MP came out as pansexual in January in an exclusive interview with PinkNews. She later revealed that a member of the tabloid press had threatened to out her against her will.

Moran announced today that she will running for her party’s top position, which has been vacant since former leader Jo Swinson resigned after losing her seat at the general election in December.

Moran said the decision had been a “long-time coming” as she had often felt “frustrated” by the party’s direction over the last three years.

Announcing her candidacy on Sky News, she said: “I believe it’s time that we move on as a party and offer a positive vision for the country, and I’m the right person to lead that change.

“I’ve been up and down the country listening to voters about what went wrong in the election, partly, but also asking them questions about what they think of us, because I think it’s really important that we listen and understand where we’ve been going wrong.”

She believes Swinson’s election promise to revoke Brexit was “a big mistake” and the Lib Dems now need to earn back voters’ trust over this.

“The other thing that worried [voters] was that we were saying that we were going to be the party of the next government, when in fact that wasn’t the case, and we lost their trust again over that.”

Moran aims to put climate change and electoral reform at the heart of her agenda. As the party’s education spokesperson, she said that education would also be a big focus for her, this being the reason she entered politics.

“I want to lead and empower the Liberal Democrats to fight for this future and to grow our support, so that we can make people’s lives better,” she added.

Nominations for candidates will open on 11 May and close on 28 May, with a postal vote of party members beginning on 18 June and concluding on 15 July.

Her rivals are likely to include Ed Davey, the former energy secretary, who is currently acting leader and lost out to Swinson in 2019.

The first candidate to declare was Wera Hobhouse, the MP for Bath since 2017. Other potential candidates include the  St Albans MP, Daisy Cooper.