Although Oliver Coppard does not have a featured Wikipedia article, his biographical information may be found elsewhere online. Coppard has earlier noted that, although having never held public office, his extensive experience with and for local government qualifies him for the role.
Similarly, he rose to notoriety after running in the 2015 General Election against then-Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
When Coppard was the field director for the Remain campaign in Yorkshire and the Humber, he faced significant difficulties. Furthermore, Coppard holds a BA in Politics and Parliamentary Studies from the University of Leeds logo, according to his LinkedIn page.
Labour’s Olivar Coppard, 40, follows Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis in the position, which was formed in 2018, and maintains Labour’s grasp on the seat.
A total of 26.37 percent of the electorate voted, totaling 264,720, up from 25.82 percent four years before. Coppard stated that “getting on and fulfilling” pledges made in his election campaign was his top priority, with a focus on increasing bus services.
Similarly, he also stated that he will work on a green energy policy, which would include insulating homes around the county. Economic programs, transportation services, and infrastructure improvements will be under the control of the new mayor for Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, and Sheffield.
Five Facts you Might not Know about the new Mayor of South Yorkshire
1. South Yorkshire mayor is his first elected post
It is one of the most important political jobs in Yorkshire and comes with control over £1.3bn for the next four years to spend on areas like economic development, transport, regeneration, net zero projects and adult education. But this role will be Mr Coppard’s first in elected office despite considerable experience in the political world over the course of his career to date.
Mr Coppard has previously said that despite not holding public office before, his experience in working with and for local government stands him in good stead.
“When I put myself forward, I said I want to try and do politics differently. That means actually doing things in a way they haven’t been done before.
“The question is – what do we want as a community, as a region, as a society in South Yorkshire and then fighting for that on the basis of what people here have decided are priorities.
“That is a different way of approaching that challenge and doing politics and that’s why I put myself forward to lead that charge. I’m really excited about it.”
2. He almost beat Nick Clegg in Sheffield Hallam in 2015
Mr Coppard first came to public prominence when he stood against then Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in the 2015 General Election.
After being selected as the Labour candidate in 2013, he was labelled as Daily Mail columnist Andrew Pierce’s ‘Twit of the Week’ for suggesting it was possible to win the seat despite Labour never holding it previously and Mr Clegg having a 15,000 majority.
But at the 2015 election, Mr Coppard more than doubled Labour’s vote from 2010 and cut Mr Clegg’s majority to just 2,000. Labour went on to win the seat in 2017 and still retains it.
He said: “I’m really proud so many people put their faith in me, even though we didn’t quite get over the line.”
3. He ran the Remain campaign in Yorkshire and Humber
Mr Coppard faced a more challenging time when he was the field director for the Remain campaign in Yorkshire and the Humber.
He subsequently said of the experience: “I learnt a huge amount of about campaigning and how to run a campaign on a significant scale.
“But it is probably fair to say that I learnt as much about how not to run a campaign and I say that with all respect to the volunteers and people who worked on the campaign, because they were brilliant. But the problems were more strategic and systemic.
“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 recognising 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 first Jewish metro mayor in the country
Oliver Coppard has become the first Jewish metro mayor in the country – something that carries particular symbolism for Labour after he refused to stand for the party under Jeremy Corbyn due to his concerns about how anti-semitism was being dealt with at the time.
Speaking before the election, Mr Coppard said: “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. I am proud of who I am and my faith, but equally I’m not asking for people to vote for me on that basis – let’s talk about policies and ideas instead.”
In August 2018, he went public about his dismay at the issue of anti-Semitism within the Labour movement.
He said the situation meant he would not be putting his name forward to be Labour’s next candidate in Sheffield Hallam.
In an article for The Huffington Post, he said Labour “felt like a hostile environment for people like me”.
He wrote: “The growing intolerance of our movement has crushed my belief that I could play an active role in putting the Labour Party into government and Jeremy Corbyn in Number 10.”
Mr Coppard said recently: “I was incredibly sad to make that statement.
“There’s no guarantee I would have been selected for the seat, but I had to make a decision about whether I could stand on the doorstep and defend the way the Labour party then was. In politics, principles matter. I couldn’t defend the indefensible and I had to make that choice.
“It was a very hard choice because I have been part of the Labour movement since I was a kid. These are my friends, these are my family and my chosen family in lots of instances.
“Writing something so publicly about the challenge of being Jewish in the Labour Party at the time was heartbreaking for me. I’m sad I had to do it, but I think it was the right and in hindsight, I’m glad I did do that.”
Mr Coppard said that while things are “not perfect” within Labour, he believes there has been a serious effort by Sir Keir Starmer to tackle anti-semitism in the party – meaning he now feels able to stand as a candidate again.
5. He is the son of a former council chief executive
Mr Coppard is the son of former Barnsley Council chief executive Phil Coppard and says he began his political education at the age of six.
Both he and his sister started delivering leaflets for the Labour Party and trade union campaigns when his father was a council officer involved with both the local Labour Party and the National and Local Government Officers Association in Sheffield.
His early experiences inspired him to pursue a career in politics, undertaking a degree in the subject at the University of Leeds and participating in a six-month internship in the office of senior Democratic Congressman Richard Gephardt in 2002.