Moran builds cross-party support for campaign to save Erasmus access

Layla Moran, Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, has tabled a motion with cross-party support calling on the Government “to seek full association to the 2021-27 Erasmus programme”.

Continuing her campaign to protect Erasmus, which saw her push an amendment to the Withdrawal Agreement Bill two weeks ago, Layla has reached out to colleagues in the Lib Dems as well as the SNP, DUP and Greens to co-sponsor her motion.

In the motion, Moran notes that the EU is expanding the Erasmus programme from 2021, tripling its budget and placing greater emphasis on widening access to the scheme for pupils from lower income backgrounds.

Layla also highlighted the House of Lords European Union Committee’s 28th Report of Session 2017-19 that concluded that a replacement UK-led student mobility scheme, something the Government is considering, would find it impossible to replicate aspects of Erasmus which are key to facilitating international exchanges.

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Moran expresses “disappointment” at failure of Government to meet with Expressway campaign group

Writing to Grant Shapps, the Secretary of State for Transport, Layla Moran, Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, has expressed her “disappointment” at the Government’s decision to not meet with the No Expressway Group (NEG).

During the General Election, Grant Shapps visited Cumnor to announce that a Conservative majority government would ‘review’ the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway.

Following the news that the Secretary of State did not find time to meet with the NEG when the group wrote to request a meeting, Layla has written to Mr Shapps saying “I firmly believe that any such review must include representations from campaign groups including the NEG, to make sure their voice, and those of many of my constituents, are heard.”

In the letter, Moran reiterated her call for the Expressway to “be scrapped and replaced with a fully electrified East-West Rail”.

The MP asked for Shapps to “reconsider [his] decision to not meet with NEG”, making it clear that it was important to engage with a wide range of stakeholders, including the campaign group, in any forthcoming review.

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Layla Moran questions Government over inclusion of Extinction Rebellion on list of extremist organisations, defends schoolchildren’s free speech

Layla Moran, Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, has written to the Education Secretary to express her “concerns about the implications” of the inclusion of Extinction Rebellion on a list of terrorist and extremist organisations “for our schools and children.”


The MP, who is addressing the student climate strike in central Oxford today, took the Government to task for the document, first uncovered by The Guardian, which has since been recalled.

Despite this, Moran in her letter wrote that the “episode also carries significant implications for free speech, inside and outside of the classroom: can a student truly voice their opinion if they are worried that their teacher might report them?” She continued: “It is frankly worrying that this is a question that even needs to be asked.”


The document that included Extinction Rebellion, circulated by Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE) in November to their statutory partners including teachers, put the non-violent campaign group alongside proscribed organisations such as the neo-Nazi National Action as a group to watch out for.


This meant that teachers would have been mandated to report activities matching those listed in the document under Extinction Rebellion, such as using ‘emotive’ language to talk about climate change, to the Prevent programme.

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Moran urges Government, council and Highways England to “work collaboratively” to deliver Lodge Hill before 2022

Layla Moran, MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, has written to the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, urging him to work with Highways England and Oxfordshire County Council to “bring forward the completion date” of the Lodge Hill diamond junction on the A34 to before 2022.

Delivery of the junction has been the subject of continuous delays since funding was secured in the summer of 2017, with county council figures at that time indicating that the scheme could be completed by 2020. In an answer to a parliamentary question asked by Layla last week, the Minister of State for Transport George Freeman said that the project partners were aiming for “completion in early 2022.”

In October 2019, Layla wrote to Grant Shapps urging a review of the situation, following news that there had been a lack of progress in the detailed assessment of the site.

The MP raised the issue in her maiden speech in Parliament in 2017 and has continually pressed the Government to take action, saying that Lodge Hill “came up time and time again on the doorstep” during the recent General Election.

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Moran presses amendments to protect environmental standards, workers’ rights and Erasmus study scheme post-Brexit

Layla Moran, Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, this evening pressed two amendments to the Withdrawal Agreement Bill to protect environmental standards, workers’ rights and the Erasmus study scheme after Brexit.

Moran called continued access to the Erasmus+ and future Erasmus scheme a “no-brainer”, pointing out the benefits it brings in terms of skills, investment and social mobility. After Brexit the UK could maintain access to the programme as an ‘associated third country’, and the amendment tabled by Layla would have required the Government to seek to negotiate full membership on existing terms.

The MP spoke of the importance of research funding through the Horizon 2020 programme also, pointing out the importance of the EU and other countries for international collaboration in important fields.

Layla also spoke about the importance of maintaining the level playing field with the EU after Brexit on environmental standards, as well as workers’ and consumer rights. The Lib Dem reminded MPs of the consequences of not maintaining good environmental standards in particular, citing the devastating Australian wildfires as an example.

Both amendments were voted on in the Commons, with no Conservative MPs voting for the measures.

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Government refuses to give details of Expressway ‘review’ promised during election – Moran demands answers

Layla Moran, Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, has today said she is “disappointed” that the Government refused to give details of its promised ‘review’ of the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway.

In her first week back in Parliament in December after being re-elected, Moran immediately questioned the Department for Transport on the ‘review’, including its timescale and cost. Responding yesterday, the Government refused to give any details, providing the same short response to questions asked: “We will provide an update on whether the project should continue in due course.”

Her parliamentary action comes after the Oxfordshire Liberal Democrats launched a petition to scrap the Expressway during the election.

The MP had also questioned whether the housing targets for the wider Ox-Cam Arc will be looked at again given the decision to review the motorway project. The Government provided the same response to this question.

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Moran: "outrageous" that 27 Oxford homes have stood empty for at least 5 years

Layla Moran has called for Oxford City Council to "step up" after a Liberal Democrat investigation revealed that almost 47,000 homes nationwide have been left vacant for over 5 years, including 27 in Oxford.

The news comes despite devastating new government statistics which revealed that 127,000 children across England faced being homeless at New Year.

Former Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has declared a "national emergency" and demanded urgent action to alleviate the housing crisis to ensure "every child has the security of a warm home."

The figures collated from over 300 local authorities, uncovered by Liberal Democrat freedom of information requests, also reveal there are a staggering 12,889 homes that have been empty for 10 years or more while there are 313,792 long-term empty homes [defined as over 6-months] across the country.

Oxford City Council has 6 homes empty for 10 years or more, 27 empty for 5 years or more and a total of 545 currently considered to be long-term empty.

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Moran takes immediate action to get answers on Expressway and Lodge Hill

Layla Moran, Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, has during her first week back in Parliament immediately questioned the Department for Transport about the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway and the delayed Lodge Hill junction.

Moran is seeking swift clarification on the ‘review’ of the Expressway promised by the Conservatives during the General Election, as well as the continued delays to the Lodge Hill junction on the A34. She has asked for the Government to confirm the cost of the review, its timescale and whether Highways England’s consultation will be postponed as a result.

Her parliamentary action comes after the Oxfordshire Liberal Democrats launched a petition to scrap the Expressway during the election.

The MP also questioned whether the housing targets for the wider Ox-Cam Arc will be looked at again given the decision to review the motorway project.

Layla has asked whether the uncertainty over the Expressway will impact the delivery of the already-delayed Lodge Hill diamond interchange on the A34, and has asked for a confirmation of the timeline for the delivery of the much-needed work.

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Moran: rise in homelessness in Oxfordshire shows why we must scrap Vagrancy Act and better meet housing need

Layla Moran, Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, has said that the continued rise in those deemed homeless or at risk of homelessness in Oxfordshire shows that we “need to take a more compassionate approach” to tackling the issue.

Moran has campaigned for the Dickensian Vagrancy Act, which criminalises rough sleeping, to be scrapped, including by introducing a Bill to repeal it in the last Parliament.

The Government figures, released today, show that 19 more households in Q2 2019 (April, May and June) were assessed as homeless or at risk of homelessness (495) compared to Q1 (474) in Oxfordshire.

The Lib Dem MP also raised the issue of local government funding, saying that the Government needs to “put its money where its mouth is” on money to tackle homelessness and build affordable housing.

Layla has emphasised the need for “truly affordable housing” to be prioritised, praising the Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire district councils for jointly exploring the potential to create a council-owned housing company to build social homes in the county.

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Layla Moran: 8,755 businesses in Oxfordshire close in past three years in Brexit hit to high street

Layla Moran, Liberal Democrat candidate for Oxford West and Abingdon, has said that the Conservatives "have failed small businesses in Oxfordshire", after figures revealed that 8,755 businesses in the county closed over the last three years.

It comes after the Liberal Democrats on Saturday unveiled a series of measures to reverse this decline and boost local firms, to mark Small Business Saturday.

Recent figures show that 8,755 closed in Oxfordshire between 2016 and 2018, a 10.8% increase compared to the three years before that.

Across the UK, one million businesses have closed their doors between 2016 and 2018, an increase of almost a third compared to 2013- 2015.

The Federation of Small Businesses has warned that a no deal Brexit, which Boris Johnson has repeatedly refused to rule out, would mean more damage to firms. Firms are also being held back by the Conservative government's failure to reform business rates, and by new taxes on the self-employed that business groups have described as "disastrous".

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