British-Palestinian Layla was born in Hammersmith in 1982, to her father James and mother Randa. Over the next twelve years the Moran family moved between Ethiopia, Greece, Jordan and Jamaica, due to James’ role as an EU diplomat. During this period, Layla was joined by two sisters and a brother.
Aged twelve Layla attended the inaugural year at the American International School of Kingston (Jamaica), with hers and other families helping to establish it. After a hit and miss educational background, involving a period of being the only child in her year group, she came to the UK for some educational stability.
Layla studied physics at Imperial College London and completed a PGCE at Brunel University before completing a master's degree in comparative education at UCL's Institute of Education. Here, she identified her deep frustration at the embedded social inequalities in the UK, which (when compared to the countries she had grown up in) felt entirely unjust.
From then onwards Layla was a maths and physics teacher at the International School of Brussels Queensmead School and Southbank International School in London. Layla joined the Liberal Democrats in 2004 after researching which political party best aligned with the aims and principles of the education sector to redress inequalities.
The foundations of Layla’s political career are in community action and building a broad base of support. She started by leading a campaign to save a community centre at the end of her road and is a proud community activist. Whilst teaching the International Baccalaureate, she won the selection process to be the Liberal Democrat candidate for the constituency of Oxford West and Abingdon.
As a candidate, she campaigned to save local businesses and fought for better school provisions. In 2017, she achieved a historic 15% swing to take the seat from the Conservatives by 816 votes. She also became the first UK Member of Parliament of Palestinian descent and the first female Liberal Democrat MP from an ethnic minority background.
Layla has been passionate about education throughout her parliamentary career. After the election Layla became the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for education, science and young people. She used her maiden speech to call for fair funding in schools, and spoke out against the closure of all of the Sure Start children's centres in Oxfordshire.
Layla on Education: “As a former teacher, education is close to my heart. I joined the Lib Dems because their education policies are best placed to ensure every child is world-ready, not just exam-ready.”
Layla also began making a difference with her work as a member of the Public Accounts Committee, and became a familiar face in the media with regular appearances on our televisions and in our newspapers, notably making the first appearance by a female Liberal Democrat MP on the BBC’s Have I Got News for You.
At the 2019 general election Layla stood for re-election. With support from Lib Dems, Labour supporters, Greens and moderate conservatives, she increased her majority by over 8000, to 8,943.
In March 2020, Layla announced she would be running in the Lib Dem Leadership Election,
Layla on her election campaign. “The moment for change exists, and with the right leader and vision, progress is within the Lib Dems’ grasp. We just need to reach out, seize this moment, and move forward as a strong and united party. That’s why, throughout the leadership contest, I will be asking Lib Dem members to Vote Layla, and move forward together”