Judith Blake

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Judith Blake

Leader of Leeds City Council
Assumed office
11 May 2015
Preceded byKeith Wakefield
Leeds City Councillor
for Middleton Park Ward
Assumed office
Preceded byJack Dunn
Leeds City Councillor
for Hunslet Ward
In office
2002 – 2004
Preceded byMark Davies
Succeeded byWard abolished
Leeds City Councillor
for Weetwood Ward
In office
1996 – 2000
Preceded byAnn Castle
Succeeded byJames Souper
Personal details
Judith Parsons

Leeds, England
Political partyLabour
ResidenceOtley, West Yorkshire
Alma materLeeds Girls High School
University of Kent

Judith Blake CBE is a British Labour politician and the Leader of Leeds City Council since May 2015. She is also the first woman to hold the position.[1][2][3]

Personal life[edit]

Blake was born in Leeds into a Methodist family. Both her parents were doctors. She attended Leeds Girls High School in Headingley, before studying history at the University of Kent.

After university, Blake travelled the Middle East and her career also took her to live in both London and Birmingham. [4] She returned to live in Otley in 1992. She has four children.[5] Her youngest child, Olivia Blake, is currently Deputy Leader of Sheffield City Council.[6]


Judith began her career in education and social policy, including teaching English to refugees whilst living in Birmingham in the 1980s.[5][7]

She served as an Otley town councillor,[5] and, except for a two-year gap after losing her seat in Weetwood at the 2000 city council election, has been an elected member of Leeds City Council since 1996.[2]

Judith served as the Deputy Leader of the Council for five years from 2010 to 2015. She was the Executive Cabinet Member for Children & Families during this period, overseeing the city’s Children’s Services' Ofsted rating change from “inadequate” to “good overall”.[2] She has been involved in a number of national legal campaigns, worked with education authorities in Yorkshire to raise school standards in the area, and worked on crises and issues with student grades and school placements throughout her career.[3]

She was elected as the first woman leader of the City Council in May 2015.[1] She currently chairs the Council’s Executive Board, having also served on the boards for NHS Leeds and the West Yorkshire Police Authority too.

Blake twice contested the Leeds North West constituency as a prospective parliamentary candidate for the 2005 and 2010 General Elections, losing to Greg Mulholland of the Liberal Democrats.


  1. ^ a b "Leeds City Council Elects Judith Blake as First Female Leader". BBC News. 11 May 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Transformational Leader". Northern Power Women. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Councillor Judith Blake "Honoured" to be Leeds' First Ever Female Council Leader". Yorkshire Evening Post. 11 May 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  4. ^ https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/the-next-best-thing-1-2045707
  5. ^ a b c "Judith Blake, Labour, Leeds North West". Telegraph & Argus. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  6. ^ http://democracy.sheffield.gov.uk/mgUserInfo.aspx?UID=11394
  7. ^ https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/the-next-best-thing-1-2045707

External links[edit]