Without a doubt, we are living through historic times. The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically changed our country, our economy and our lives, now and for years to come. But we must not be daunted by the challenges we now face as a society. The public are clear. They don’t want more of the same. Now is the time to be brave and bold. We need progressive ideas and a fresh, optimistic outlook to move forward together. My media campaign has been successful, with over 150 media articles since the start of the campaign, including favourable coverage in titles across the political spectrum. Coverage has ranged from my vision to move us forward (Independent, Scotsman and Evening Standard), to opposing th
e Tories on their “Brexit before Breathing” ventilator policy (The Guardian) and on gay conversion therapy (BBC News, the i). I’ve also been delighted by the more personal coverage, being described as a “woman of the people who understands modern life” by the Times. The key role of a party leader is the ability to get the party’s message out there, and my campaign is showing that we can do that. It’s not often that the party gets two front page stories in the Daily Mirror in a week. It is even rarer for a Lib Dem MP to win the backing of the Daily Express for a major campaign. Yet I managed to get them behind my campaign for a Coronavirus Compensation Scheme for NHS and care workers. Not only did the Express publish a series of articles backing the campaign, helping me persuade more than 50 MPs from all parties to sign my joint letter to the Government. They even used their question at a daily briefing to press Matt Hancock on the issue. He eventually caved. Our party is at its best when we are campaigning on issues that make a difference to people. When we do that well, at local or national levels, we can make a real difference. This is my approach. As leader, I will champion compassionate, liberal values and progressive policies that set us apart as a clear alternative to the tired old Westminster duopoly. Rich or poor, every child should have the chance to thrive in school. That is why I will invest in early years education to reduce inequality before a child enters a classroom. No one should be left behind. That is why I am championing a Universal Basic Income, to provide income security for every household, no matter the uncertainty in the economy. And whilst clean air, biodiversity and a carbon negative economy which combats climate change may not show in GDP statistics, they are fundamental things which we all value. But party leaders are never a magic bullet. That’s why we need your help so we can start to rebuild trust in voters by moving forward together, for our party and for our country.
Layla Moran is the Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Oxford West & Abingdon She tweets @LaylaMoran