THE Lib Dem leadership contest, which an Oxford MP was competing in, has been postponed due to the coronavirus.

The opposition party had been due to start the process for replacing Jo Swinson, who was forced to step down as leader after losing her seat at the December general election, in May and announce a successor in July.

Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran was among the competitors, having announced her bid for the leadership at the start of this month.

At the time, Ms Moran told the Oxford Mail she wanted to take the party forward by protecting its internationalist outlook, while making sure the voices of people in her constituency of Oxford West and Abingdon were still heard.

The party announced it was postponing the race on Friday.

READ MORE about the announcement here

Reacting to the news on Twitter, Ms Moran said: "My reasons for running remain the same and I look forward to taking part in it.

"When this is over the country and the Lib Dems will need to move on and create a positive vision for the future. But while coronavirus rages we must focus on that."

The election will now take place in May 2021 according to the party's federal board.

On the Lib Dem website, a statement announcing the move described the pandemic as an event which 'could become the country’s biggest crisis since 1945'.

Other contenders in the race include MPs Wera Hobhouse and Christine Jardine.

One of the party's acting leaders, Sir Ed Davey MP is also expected to stand.

Nominations were due to open in May.