Labour selects Oliver Coppard as South Yorkshire mayoral candidate

Sienna Rodgers
© Shahid Khan/

Labour has selected Oliver Coppard as its candidate for the South Yorkshire mayoral election taking place on May 5th, after incumbent Dan Jarvis MP took the decision not to stand for re-election.

LabourList can reveal that Coppard – who was Labour’s 2015 parliamentary candidate in Sheffield Hallam against Nick Clegg – was elected on the second round with a 57% share of the vote after securing 43% in the first round.

Reacting to his victory, Coppard said: “I am both proud and grateful to have been selected as the Labour Party’s candidate to succeed Dan Jarvis as the next mayor of South Yorkshire. Thank you to all those members who volunteered and voted for me, to the regional Labour Party for their handling of the selection, and to everyone who took part in the process.

“Our campaign has been built around a simple but urgent hope; that together we can rebuild the pride, purpose and prosperity of South Yorkshire. Every vote cast in support of my selection was a silent instruction to pursue that ambition; to reclaim a more optimistic and hopeful future for everybody that lives here.

“That’s why over the coming weeks and months we will be building a campaign that makes the case for the change, investment and powers we need to overcome the challenges we face, and to realise the potential and ambition of the people of Barnsley, Rotherham, Doncaster and Sheffield.

“I put myself forward to be the Labour Party’s candidate for mayor so I could fight for a more hopeful future for our region, the place I’m proud to call my home. Now I intend to earn the trust of people and communities of South Yorkshire, so we can begin to build that brighter future together.”

The result was swiftly welcomed by Labour figures and groups supportive of Keir Starmer’s leadership, from Labour to Win and the Jewish Labour Movement to shadow cabinet member Wes Streeting.

South Yorkshire members chose their mayoral candidate from a shortlist of four: Sheffield Central’s Oliver Coppard, Lewis Blake Dagnall, Jayne Dunn, and Don Valley’s Rachael Blake.

After nominations and interviews were conducted by a party panel, and once the longlist of seven had been cut down to four, members voted for their preferred candidate between January 5th and 26th.

All those shortlisted set out their stalls in pieces for LabourList. Coppard promised to be “the most transparent and accountable mayor in the country”, with a public-led scrutiny panel, no second jobs, and Mayor’s Question Times across the region.

The candidate said he would lead a community wealth building strategy for South Yorkshire, put in place citizens’ assemblies to shape a plan for reaching net zero, plant 1.4 million trees and bring public transport back under public control.

“I’ll work to put South Yorkshire at the forefront of the next industrial revolution with a world-leading innovation corridor that brings skilled jobs and purpose back to our communities,” Coppard wrote in his campaign piece for LabourList.

The South Yorkshire mayor election will take place on May 5th, alongside six local authority mayoral elections and local elections across the UK, including all London borough councils and all local authorities in Wales and Scotland.

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