Layla Moran – 2022 Tribute to Jack Dromey

The tribute made by Layla Moran, the Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, in the House of Commons on 2 February 2022.

To the tributes already paid, I add the profound sympathies of both myself and all the Liberal Democrats who sit on these Benches. As a relatively new Member of the Commons, I confess that I did not know Jack that well, but what I did know I really, really liked.

I first met him in a mindfulness meditation class, which he, the right hon. and learned Member for Camberwell and Peckham (Ms Harman) and I attended with other MPs as we sought to find some calm in the storm of the 2017 to 2019 Parliament. I dare say that it was, at times, hilariously awkward. I remember Jack taking those classes with great humour. He oozed wisdom and kindness, and I think it was that shared experience that meant that, when we caught each other’s eye while passing each other in the Lobby, he would ask how I was, and he really meant it. Since his passing, I have learned that that kind man, whom I liked so much, had a similar effect on pretty much everyone he met. The tributes today are proof of how respected he was across the political spectrum. While a trade union man through and through, he was a pragmatist. He would work with anyone who could deliver his aims and shared his values.

Part of Jack’s appeal and great strength was that he was so obviously driven by his values and by a deep desire to help people. Quite simply, Jack Dromey was one of the good guys. I think it says it all that he worked to the last. In that final debate on Afghanistan, he urged Parliament and the Government to take a more compassionate approach to those in the world who need us the most and said:

“Our country has a proud history of providing a safe haven to those fleeing persecution.”

He also spoke of our country’s most fundamental values

“of decency, honesty and fairness.”—[Official Report, 6 January 2022; Vol. 706, c. 129WH.]

Jack embodied those values.

To the right hon. and learned Member for Camberwell and Peckham, to their children, Harry, Joe and Amy, and to the whole family, there are no words, but I hope that from today’s tributes they can take some comfort in knowing the impact that Jack had and how he affected not just this House but the whole country.