Lib Dems pick Oxford West & Abingdon candidate

Layla Moran

Layla Moran

First published in Abingdon Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

FLOODING and transport are among the issues on which the prospective Liberal Democrat candidate for Oxford West and Abingdon will fight the next election.

Physics teacher Layla Moran has been chosen by the party to go head-to-head with incumbent MP Conservative Nicola Blackwood, replacing Dr Evan Harris as the prospective parliamentary candidate.

The 30-year-old says a solution needs to be found to local flooding problems that blighted the constituency last month.

Miss Moran backs speeding the flow of the river through built-up areas by removing sediment at key points and restoring natural dams to help protect homes.

The North Oxford resident, who is a head of year at an international school in London, will also campaign for better local transport, and fairer tax.

She said: “I will campaign for a better transport system and a solution to flooding.

“I want to see the rich pay their fair share of tax and protect the vulnerable from welfare cuts.”

In 2010, Miss Moran stood in the marginal constituency of Battersea.

She came to Oxford six years ago to teach maths revision courses.

Her mother is a Christian Arab from Jerusalem, and her father is a British EU ambassador.

Miss Moran will work from Oxford permanently in the new year.

She read physics at Imperial College and holds a masters in comparative education.

Her candidacy means former MP Dr Harris will not be making a return to Oxfordshire politics.

Dr Harris represented the constituency for 13 years before losing to Ms Blackwood by 176 votes in 2010.

Neil Fawcett, Lib Dem campaign manager for Oxford West and Abingdon, said: “Evan didn’t apply and to his credit he decided it would be wrong to get involved again.”

Comments (11)

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4:19pm Sat 15 Dec 12

mickeybear says...

An outstanding choice. Abingdon deserves an MP who really will take up its interests, something Evan Harris never did. An interesting and able man, but a dreadful constituency MP.

What the local party needs to do now is clear out the remainder of the dead wood that has accumulated in its ranks.

Nicola Blackwood will provide a formidable challenge to any LibDem trying to regain this seat. She has avoided getting too close to the "nasty bunch" who for so long epitomised the previous Tory opposition (and still linger on like a bad smell in the present administration), and has cleverly carved out a neat little niche for herself.

The electorate will be interested to hear how Ms Moran plans to revitalise the town's economy - the ultimate key to finding the solutions to the other problems that have consistently caused it to underperform by comparison with towns like Witney.

Blinkered politics have led to the flight of shops and shoppers from the town centre, and for that both the Tories (in the County) and LibDems (in the District) must finally shoulder responsibility.

Unless and until Ms Blackwood is prepared to acknowledge the failure of AbITS, and her party's ultimate responsibility for that mess, residents will not truly trust her.

Ms Moran must make clear too that she will no longer allow the self-interest of individual councillors to outweigh the general interest and hobble the party in addressing the persistent problems of congestion, pollution and ill-thought through development, an all too frequent feature in the past.

It will prove an interesting contest.
An outstanding choice. Abingdon deserves an MP who really will take up its interests, something Evan Harris never did. An interesting and able man, but a dreadful constituency MP. What the local party needs to do now is clear out the remainder of the dead wood that has accumulated in its ranks. Nicola Blackwood will provide a formidable challenge to any LibDem trying to regain this seat. She has avoided getting too close to the "nasty bunch" who for so long epitomised the previous Tory opposition (and still linger on like a bad smell in the present administration), and has cleverly carved out a neat little niche for herself. The electorate will be interested to hear how Ms Moran plans to revitalise the town's economy - the ultimate key to finding the solutions to the other problems that have consistently caused it to underperform by comparison with towns like Witney. Blinkered politics have led to the flight of shops and shoppers from the town centre, and for that both the Tories (in the County) and LibDems (in the District) must finally shoulder responsibility. Unless and until Ms Blackwood is prepared to acknowledge the failure of AbITS, and her party's ultimate responsibility for that mess, residents will not truly trust her. Ms Moran must make clear too that she will no longer allow the self-interest of individual councillors to outweigh the general interest and hobble the party in addressing the persistent problems of congestion, pollution and ill-thought through development, an all too frequent feature in the past. It will prove an interesting contest. mickeybear
  • Score: 0

1:02am Sun 16 Dec 12

Severian says...

She may be an excellent choice, but as a Liberal Democrat candidate she will get smashed out of sight at the next General Election.

As a teacher she should be thoroughly ashamed of her party's treatment of students, and parents and students alike will no doubt avoid her like the plaque at the next General Election.

As Spitting Image once said, "Go back to your constituencies and prepare for a bit of a disappointment".
She may be an excellent choice, but as a Liberal Democrat candidate she will get smashed out of sight at the next General Election. As a teacher she should be thoroughly ashamed of her party's treatment of students, and parents and students alike will no doubt avoid her like the plaque at the next General Election. As Spitting Image once said, "Go back to your constituencies and prepare for a bit of a disappointment". Severian
  • Score: 0

7:42pm Sun 16 Dec 12

Reynaldo Throckmorton, Duke of Botley says...

mickeybear said: "The electorate will be interested to hear how Ms Moran plans to revitalise the town's economy…"

Dear me, Mickey, you're not paying attention. Ms Moran's priorities are "flooding and transport". If she gets her way, Abingdon will be permanently flooded with millions of gallons of stagnant, insanitary water and marketed to tourists as the Venice of northern Europe. The unfortunate residents will all be employed as gondoliers, "transporting" visitors around the otherwise impassable streets. This is exactly the sort of ridiculous proposal that prevents the Lib Dems from being taken seriously.
mickeybear said: "The electorate will be interested to hear how Ms Moran plans to revitalise the town's economy…" Dear me, Mickey, you're not paying attention. Ms Moran's priorities are "flooding and transport". If she gets her way, Abingdon will be permanently flooded with millions of gallons of stagnant, insanitary water and marketed to tourists as the Venice of northern Europe. The unfortunate residents will all be employed as gondoliers, "transporting" visitors around the otherwise impassable streets. This is exactly the sort of ridiculous proposal that prevents the Lib Dems from being taken seriously. Reynaldo Throckmorton, Duke of Botley
  • Score: 0

10:57pm Sun 16 Dec 12

Abberdon says...

Well Reynaldo, if Abberdon becomes a new Venice, at least that would solve the traffic and parking issues, and too fast road speeds too, so maybe that's the way to go?

MGs could reopen building sports gondolas maybe?

I am concerned that this person clearly knows very little about flooding and river flows with her claim to dig sediment out and speed the river up.

Building in flood zones is part of the problem, so that has to stop straight away.

Land use adjacent to rivers is an issue, as is the run-off from urbanisation, in particular all the bitumen roads and carparks, but also roof areas of homes that reduce absorption into the ground.

But, what's to be done with 'unseasonal' weather' and changing weather patterns by any politician?
Well Reynaldo, if Abberdon becomes a new Venice, at least that would solve the traffic and parking issues, and too fast road speeds too, so maybe that's the way to go? MGs could reopen building sports gondolas maybe? I am concerned that this person clearly knows very little about flooding and river flows with her claim to dig sediment out and speed the river up. Building in flood zones is part of the problem, so that has to stop straight away. Land use adjacent to rivers is an issue, as is the run-off from urbanisation, in particular all the bitumen roads and carparks, but also roof areas of homes that reduce absorption into the ground. But, what's to be done with 'unseasonal' weather' and changing weather patterns by any politician? Abberdon
  • Score: 0

8:58am Mon 17 Dec 12

lookingfromhere says...

On the subject of flooding (and not that it's a habit of mine) but if you have a closer look at all the road/gutter drains along the Drayton Rd (from Preston to Ock bridge) every single one of them are blocked solid, little wonder the place floods, what's more most of the drains on Tythe Farm are blocked too !
Going back to the choice of our next MP, wouldn't it be good for a change to see a "home grown" politician for a change? instead of yet another over educated import?
On the subject of flooding (and not that it's a habit of mine) but if you have a closer look at all the road/gutter drains along the Drayton Rd (from Preston to Ock bridge) every single one of them are blocked solid, little wonder the place floods, what's more most of the drains on Tythe Farm are blocked too ! Going back to the choice of our next MP, wouldn't it be good for a change to see a "home grown" politician for a change? instead of yet another over educated import? lookingfromhere
  • Score: 0

9:33am Mon 17 Dec 12

Abberdon says...

Arrrgh, that's roight lookingfrom'ere, all them edumacated imports with all that book larning, it ain't done no one no good never!

The Boible and the Massey Ferguson grey tractor manual is all we need to run this nation.
Arrrgh, that's roight lookingfrom'ere, all them edumacated imports with all that book larning, it ain't done no one no good never! The Boible and the Massey Ferguson grey tractor manual is all we need to run this nation. Abberdon
  • Score: 0

10:07am Mon 17 Dec 12

Anon Coward says...

I assume 'lookingfromhere' meant someone from Oxfordshire, rather than a 'drop in' career politician.

You know, someone with some life experience, who is genuinely interested in the area, rather than just advancing their career.

Still, we already have one of those, so why not another.
I assume 'lookingfromhere' meant someone from Oxfordshire, rather than a 'drop in' career politician. You know, someone with some life experience, who is genuinely interested in the area, rather than just advancing their career. Still, we already have one of those, so why not another. Anon Coward
  • Score: 0

10:39am Mon 17 Dec 12

Abberdon says...

Oxfordshire eh?

But Abberdon is really Berkshire, so why not a REAL local?

Someone known at the Cross Keys, or Saxton Arms.

Someone who knows the history of the Kings Head and Bell, who knows where the pubs used to be, and where the shops used to be too?

Yes, 'local' has a meaning only known to real locals.
Oxfordshire eh? But Abberdon is really Berkshire, so why not a REAL local? Someone known at the Cross Keys, or Saxton Arms. Someone who knows the history of the Kings Head and Bell, who knows where the pubs used to be, and where the shops used to be too? Yes, 'local' has a meaning only known to real locals. Abberdon
  • Score: 0

4:03pm Thu 20 Dec 12

Abingdon Neil says...

@Severian - maybe, as a teacher, she is well aware of the extra money coming in to local schools to help children from poorer backgrounds through theLib Dems delivering their Pupil Premium policy?

And maybe she's pleased that future graduates will pay less per month in tuition fee repayments than they did under Labour and that the proportion of University applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds is rising?
@Severian - maybe, as a teacher, she is well aware of the extra money coming in to local schools to help children from poorer backgrounds through theLib Dems delivering their Pupil Premium policy? And maybe she's pleased that future graduates will pay less per month in tuition fee repayments than they did under Labour and that the proportion of University applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds is rising? Abingdon Neil
  • Score: 0

1:04am Fri 21 Dec 12

Man on the Green says...

Amongst the "dead wood" the LibDems need to jettison is their campaign director (sic). On every available indicator, he has not only under-performed, but grotesquely so.

The candidate should take a long hard look at the history of failure, the legacy of political misjudgement (as over ABITS, where he appears to have allowed naked self-interest to cloud his and the local party's position), and the miasma of incompetence that hangs around this individual and the campaigns he has (mis-)managed, and distance herself from him forthwith.
Amongst the "dead wood" the LibDems need to jettison is their campaign director (sic). On every available indicator, he has not only under-performed, but grotesquely so. The candidate should take a long hard look at the history of failure, the legacy of political misjudgement (as over ABITS, where he appears to have allowed naked self-interest to cloud his and the local party's position), and the miasma of incompetence that hangs around this individual and the campaigns he has (mis-)managed, and distance herself from him forthwith. Man on the Green
  • Score: 0

12:22pm Mon 7 Jan 13

Abingdon Neil says...

@Man on the Green - true enough - the 2012 record of 2 gains, 3 holds and 1 loss in local elections in the current national political climate was truly awful :-)
@Man on the Green - true enough - the 2012 record of 2 gains, 3 holds and 1 loss in local elections in the current national political climate was truly awful :-) Abingdon Neil
  • Score: 0

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