Layla Moran MP has reaffirmed her bid to become party leader, following a decision by the Liberal Democrat Federal Board to bring the leadership contest forward. Moran was re-elected in December to represent Oxford West and Abingdon, a marginal seat.
Moran first announced she would be running in March 2020, after previous leader Jo Swinson lost her seat in the 2019 general election. The election was initially postponed to May 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but has since been brought forward to August 2020.
Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath and current Climate Spokesperson, has also announced her intention to run. Other potential candidates include Ed Davey, MP for Kingston and Surbiton and current acting co-leader of the party. Most recently, Justice Spokesperson and MP for St Albans Daisy Cooper has issued a statement saying she will not be running, following previous speculation.
Speaking to Cherwell, Moran said: “I was glad the federal board decided to bring the leadership contest forward, I think this gives our party a fantastic opportunity to debate how we approach the next election, and I look forward to taking part in it.
“The overwhelming message that I’ve heard on the doorsteps as I travelled across the country meeting local parties, and now doing the same virtually, was that the Liberal Democrats need to move on from the last decade and put forward a positive vision for the future.
“We’re living in unprecedented times as a nation and a planet, and when we come out of this we all have to rebuild. I want to help build a United Kingdom that’s more compassionate and equal. I want to build a country where politicians cooperate to tackle the climate crisis, and the huge democratic deficit.
“I’ve seen throughout Oxford West and Abingdon; the fantastic work Liberal Democrats can do when they win and have the power to change their community. I want to help local parties across the country do the same, and win in their communities.
“I hope as the contest moves forward I can continue to listen to local members and voters across the country to build a vision for the future of our party, and of the country.”
Formal nominations will open in late June. Voting will take place between 30th of July and the 26th August, and the final result will be announced on August 27th.