Oliver Coppard’s biography can be obtained online, despite the fact that it is not published on Wikipedia. Despite never having held a public office, Coppard has previously stated that his vast experience working with and for local government qualifies him for the position.
Similar to this, he became well-known after standing in the 2015 general election against Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister and then-leader of the Liberal Democrats.
Coppard encountered tremendous challenges while serving as the field director for the Remain campaign in Yorkshire and the Humber. Additionally, according to his LinkedIn page, Coppard has a BA in Politics and Parliamentary Studies from the University of Leeds.
In the role, which was created in 2018, Labour’s Olivar Coppard, 40, succeeds Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis and keeps the seat firmly in their control.
A total of 264,720 people, or 26.37 percent of the electorate, cast ballots—an increase from 25.82 percent four years earlier. Coppard declared that his top priority was “getting on and fulfilling” election-related promises, with a focus on expanding bus services.
In a similar vein, he said he would embark on a green energy plan that would involve insulating houses all around the county. The incoming mayor will be in charge of managing economic initiatives, transportation services, and infrastructure upgrades in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, and Sheffield.
Five Facts You Need To Know About The New Mayor of South Yorkshire
1. The mayor of South Yorkshire is his first elected position
It is one of the most significant political positions in Yorkshire, and it comes with the power of over £1.3 billion for the following four years to be used for things like adult education, net zero initiatives, and economic growth. Despite having a long history in politics over the course of his career thus far, Mr. Coppard’s role in this position will be his first in elected office.
Although Mr. Coppard has never held public office, he has previously stated that his expertise working with and for local government puts him in good stead.
South Yorkshire’s next mayor is Oliver Coppard.
“When I ran for office, I stated that I wanted to try doing politics differently. That entails really carrying out actions in a novel manner.
What do we want as a community, a region, and a society in South Yorkshire? We should work for that based on what locals have determined are priorities.
“I put myself forward to lead that charge because that is a different way of tackling that subject and doing politics. I’m quite enthusiastic about it.
2. In 2015, he came close to defeating Nick Clegg in Sheffield Hallam
When he challenged then-Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in the 2015 General Election, Mr. Coppard initially gained widespread attention.
He was dubbed the “Twit of the Week” by Daily Mail columnist Andrew Pierce after being chosen as the Labour candidate in 2013 for believing it was possible to win the seat despite Labour having never held it before and Mr. Clegg having a 15,000 majority.
However, Mr. Coppard more than quadrupled Labour’s vote from 2010 at the 2015 election, reducing Mr. Clegg’s majority to just 2,000. The seat was afterward won by Labour in 2017 and is still held by them.
3. He directed the Yorkshire and Humber Remain campaign
When he was the field director for the Remain campaign in Yorkshire and the Humber, Mr. Coppard confronted more difficult circumstances.
Following the encounter, he remarked, “I learned a tremendous lot about campaigning and how to run a campaign on a major scale.
With all due respect to the volunteers and staff that worked on the campaign—they were brilliant—it is probably fair to say that I also learned a lot about how not to manage a campaign. But the issues were more structural and strategic in nature.
“There was to a certain extent a sense of complacency that ‘Remain is going to walk it. In any political campaign, complacency is incredibly dangerous.
“What the Leave campaign did so well and so effectively was recognizing people were feeling incredibly let down.
“This idea of ‘Take Back Control’ and giving people control over their lives actually relates to devolution in my mind. People want to be in control of their own futures.”
4. Coppard is the nation’s first Jewish metro mayor
Oliver Coppard has been elected as the nation’s first Jewish metro mayor, a milestone that has special significance for Labour as he declined to run for the party under Jeremy Corbyn because of his worries about how anti-semitism was being addressed at the time.
“I’m not putting myself forward to be the Jewish mayor of South Yorkshire, I’m putting myself forward to be the mayor of South Yorkshire and it just so happens that I am Jewish,” Mr. Coppard stated before the election. I’m proud of who I am and my faith, but I’m also not asking people to vote for me on those grounds; instead, let’s discuss ideas and policies.
He publicly expressed his shock at the anti-Semitism problem inside the Labour movement in August 2018.
He explained that the circumstances made him decide against running as Labour’s next candidate in Sheffield Hallam.
He claimed that Labour “felt like a hostile environment for folks like me” in a piece for The Huffington Post.
In his essay, he stated: “The growing intolerance of our movement has destroyed my belief that I could actively contribute to the election of Jeremy Corbyn to Number 10 and the Labour Party to power.”
Recently, Mr. Coppard stated: “I was quite sad to make that statement.
I had to decide whether I could stand on the doorstep and defend the way the Labour party was back then, even though there is no certainty I would have been elected to the seat. Politics is a game of principles. I had to make that decision since I was powerless to defend the inadmissible.
“I have been a part of the Labour movement since I was a young child, therefore it was a very difficult decision. These people are my family, my friends, and in many cases, my chosen family.
“It was sad for me to write something so openly about the difficulties of being Jewish in the Labour Party at the time. Though I’m sorry I had to, I believe it was the correct thing to do, and looking back, I’m glad I did.
Even while he admitted that Labour is “not flawless,” Mr. Coppard said he now feels qualified to run for office again because he believes Sir Keir Starmer has made a sincere attempt to combat antisemitism in the party.
5. He is the son of a former chief executive of a council
Mr. Coppard, who claims to have started his political education at the age of six, is the son of former Barnsley Council Chief Executive Phil Coppard.
When his father was a council officer involved with both the local Labour Party and the National and Local Government Officers Association in Sheffield, he and his sister began delivering flyers for the Labour Party and trade union campaigns.
His early encounters with politics encouraged him to pursue the field; he majored in politics at the University of Leeds and completed a six-month internship in 2002 in the office of prominent Democratic Congressman Richard Gephardt.