Who are the two candidates vying to become Liberal Democrat leader?

Voting kicks off in July and the result will be announced in late August

Liberal Democrats
Layla Moran and Ed Davey at the Lib Dem party conference in 2019
(Image credit: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

Ed Davey and Layla Moran have been named as the candidates set to battle to succeed Jo Swinson as the next leader of the Liberal Democrats.

The two hopefuls have both secured backing from the required 200 party members and one other MP after nominations opened yesterday, the BBC reports.

The only other candidate in the contest, Bath MP Wera Hobhouse, dropped out of the race on Tuesday. So what do the two remaining would-be leaders stand for?

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Ed Davey

Davey has been acting leader of the Lib Dems since Swinson resigned in the aftermath of last December’s general election.

He first entered Parliament as MP for Kingston and Surbiton in 1997, and served as energy secretary in the 2010-15 Conservative-Lib Dem coalition government.

Davey formally kicked off his campaign to make his position as party leader permanent in early June, putting forward his plans for a “caring revolution”, as The Independent reported at the time. He is calling for a citizen’s basic income and a “new deal” to support bereaved children and their families.

“From quality mental health care to more support for young carers, there is much to do. We must build a more caring society post-Covid, and improve the lives of millions,” Davey said.

Davey’s policy platform also includes a “green-based economic recovery” from Covid-19, with proposals to invest £150bn in environmentally friendly projects over the next three years, according to The Guardian.

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Layla Moran

Moran is still relatively new on the parliamentary scene, after being elected as the MP for Oxford West and Abingdon in the 2017 general election.

The former maths and physics teacher is the first MP to publicly identify as pansexual, and has previously criticised the House of Commons as a “weird, backwards place”.

Speaking to Sky News in March, she described her party’s Brexit policy as a “big mistake” and said it was “really important that we listen and understand where we’ve been going wrong”.

She has also called on the party to “learn from the mistakes” of the Lib Dems’ stint in government with the Tories.

In an interview with The Independent earlier this month, Moran said: “I would say to people, imagine what we can do with me as leader, without the yoke of coalition, moving forwards.”

The leadership hopeful is the editor of the recently published Lib Dem policy review Build Back Better, which advocates for a variety of centre-left policies including free broadband and universal basic income.

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