Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran has come out as pansexual and has revealed that she is in a relationship with a woman.
The MP of Oxford West and Abingdon tweeted a photo of herself and her partner Rosy Cobb, saying: “2020 is a new decade and a new path in my journey. Last year I fell in love with a wonderful woman. Something I’d never even considered before. Now I am just happy #Pansexual #OutAndProud”
Moran, who has been tipped as a potential future leader for the Lib Dems, told Pink News that she had previously only had relationships with men but found that she “hit it off” with former Lib Dem press secretary Cobb.
Cobb was suspended from the party after allegations that she faked an email to a journalist in order to pretend the party had responded to a request for comment.
An openDemocracy investigation into the alleged £100,000 sale of Lib Dem voter data received far greater media prominence after the party’s press office, claiming it had sent a response which was not included, appeared to have faked the email.
Pink News states that Moran “defended” her partnership with Cobb, which the MP says is a “really committed, loving, supportive relationship” with Cobb.
Moran said her family – including a gay brother and sister – were “wonderful” when she came out to them as pansexual.
She explained pansexuality as an attraction to the person rather than their gender.
Moran claimed that some people had asked her to consider whether or not being in a relationship with a woman would be good for her career.
“They definitely would not have said anything like that had she been a man,” she said.
Speaking about what it is like to be an out member of the LGBT+ community in parliament, she said she has looked to “brilliant role models” such as Ruth Davidson and Justine Greening, who are both gay.
While she said she doesn’t “really care” about potential negative reaction in Westminster, she pointed out that LGBT+ issues have taken a “backwards step” in recent years.
“If there was ever a time we need to keep pushing these issues, I think it’s now.”
Asked about the furore around former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron’s personal views on LGBT+ people, Moran claimed he is an “ally” of the community.
Farron, an evangelical Christian, has given mixed responses to questioning on his views of gay marriage, gay sex and sexual orientation, and stepped down after his party performed poorly in the 2017 election.
On Farron’s views at that time, Moran said: “The thing that I found most depressing about it is that I’d spoken to him about these issues, and knew he was an ally of the LGBT+ community, but the way he was expressing himself made it sound like the party and he weren’t, and that isn’t a reflection of his or the party’s views.”
Moran, who was tipped as a potential future leader even before Jo Swinson stepped up, said the decision to run for leader is “really big” but did not rule it out.
“You bring your friends and family and all of you with you when you decide to do something like that, so it’s not something I’m going to be doing or saying lightly,” she said.
Rosy Cobb’s suspension came about after it was alleged by investigative news site openDemocracy that she had faked an email response to one of their requests for comment.
OpenDemocracy’s report, into the alleged sale of Lib Dem voter data, ran without a comment from the party in November, sparking a row about whether the party had sent a reply.
The furore resulted in the openDemocracy story receiving much greater coverage, and Jo Swinson announced an investigation into the matter.