Support pours in for UK’s first British Palestinian MP after Twitter attack

Layla Moran is standing for re-election in the Oxford constituency she won in 2017

CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 20: Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson (L) and Layla Moran, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Oxford West and Abingdon, visit Trumpington Park Primary School on November 20, 2019 in Cambridge, England. Jo Swinson will launch the Liberal Democrats' manifesto later today. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Hundreds of social media users in the UK showed support for the country’s first British Palestinian MP on Thursday after she was forced to defend her credentials as a supporter of Palestinian rights.

Layla Moran, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Oxford West and Abingdon, revealed she had been sent a message accusing her of supporting “Palestinian genocide”.

“This is deeply, deeply offensive,” Ms Moran wrote. “My family originate from Jerusalem, are part of the diaspora and I introduced the Bill to recognise Palestine.

“I also speak out against all racism, including anti-Semitism.”

Twitter users quickly showed solidarity with the candidate in a thread flooded with messages of support.

“Disgusting, so sorry you have to put up with this, Layla,” wrote one user.

Another asked: “Absolutely horrible, how can people say things like this?”

Other users pointed out that Ms Moran’s accuser was widely discredited commentator Mo Ansar.

Mr Ansar made many appearances in the UK media, but was derided by the organisation Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks (Tell Mama), which in 2014 called him “an embarrassment to Muslim communities”.

Ms Moran was born in London and is the daughter of James Moran, the EU ambassador to Egypt from 2012 to 2016.

Her mother Randa Moran is from Jerusalem, and her great-grandfather was the Palestinian poet Wasif Jawhariyyeh.

She was elected in the 2017 general election and was touted by many as a possible successor to departing party leader Vince Cable.

In 2017 Mr Moran was praised by supporters of Palestinians when she wore the keffiyeh in Parliament, a first for the UK.

Ms Moran ruled herself out of the leadership race, which was eventually won by Jo Swinson, after intense scrutiny when she revealed she had once been arrested after hitting her boyfriend during a row.

EDITOR'S PICKS
NEWSLETTERS