Steerpike

Layla Moran’s muddled radicalism

Layla Moran's muddled radicalism
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Layla Moran’s Lib Dem leadership bid has taken something of a hit in recent weeks. The Oxfordshire MP has been the subject of a slew of coded criticisms after she said that under her leadership the Lib Dems would be ‘even more radical than Labour’. Both Tim Farron and Vince Cable came out against her pronouncement, with Farron writing in the New Statesman that ‘a battle to be "leftier than thou" would be a self-indulgent path to oblivion’.

Moran has since rowed back on the comments, telling the New European she instead meant ‘radical liberal’ rather than radical socialist. That clears that one up then…

But Lib Dem voters looking into Moran’s life before politics might find her past political convictions equally confusing. While the former teacher seems to abhor grammar schools, branding them ‘state-sponsored segregation’, a quick scan of her CV uncovers something rather peculiar.

It seems radical Layla is perfectly happy to teach at private schools, including the exclusive €40,000-a-year international school in Brussels, as well as Southbank international school, which sets parents back a cool £10,000 a term. She also worked at Oxford Study Courses Ltd, a private tuition company that offers, among other things, aspiring students the chance to spend a week at an Oxford college for the princely sum of £1,890. That would be the same Moran who railed against grammar schools 'creaming off the middle classes' while 'stifling social mobility for those worse off'.

When asked how she might reconcile her past employment with her current political convictions, a spokesperson for Moran's campaign told Mr S:

Layla has learnt and taught in different countries, schools and systems. She remains involved in the sector, and has been a governor at a UK state primary school for the last five years. She has spoken out about grammar schools stifling social mobility for poorer children, as well as the need to level the playing field between state and fee-paying schools, by removing charitable statuses, investing heavily in state education and better empowering state school teachers.

Layla’s experiences across the education sector have informed her desire to reduce inequality and better fund state schools. Her views on the UK education system drove her into politics, and her plans for levelling-up are now a key pillar of her campaign to lead the Liberal Democrats and move the party forward.

Yet another change of heart from muddled Moran it seems...

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk.

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