|Shadow Minister for Nature, Water and Flooding|
|Assumed office |
14 May 2021
|Preceded by||Stephanie Peacock|
|Member of Parliament|
for Sheffield Hallam
|Assumed office |
12 December 2019
|Preceded by||Jared O'Mara|
|Deputy Leader of Sheffield City Council|
5 April 2017 – 23 August 2019
|Preceded by||Leigh Bramall|
|Succeeded by||Terry Fox|
|Sheffield City Councillor|
for Walkley Ward
22 May 2014 – 2 March 2020
|Preceded by||Nikki Sharpe|
Olivia Frances Blake
10 March 1990
|Parents||Judith Blake, Baroness Blake of Leeds (mother)|
|Alma mater||University of Sheffield|
Blake grew up in Otley, a market town north of Leeds, West Yorkshire. She was educated at Prince Henry's Grammar School, the local comprehensive school. She studied Biomedical Science at the University of Sheffield.
Offices within the Labour Party (2013–present)
In 2013, Blake stood in the election for the Youth Representative on Labour's National Executive Committee and came second. She campaigned to introduce 'one member one vote' elections for internal positions and was supported by the Labour Party's left-wing.
Sheffield City Councillor (2014–2020)
Blake unsuccessfully stood in the 2 May 2013 by-election for the Fulwood ward of Sheffield City Council before being elected as a local councillor to the Walkley ward of Sheffield City Council in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Blake was elected Deputy Leader of the Council in April 2017. Blake said she was elected as Deputy Leader "on a ticket of reform", and worked to in-source council contracts and tackle privatisation. As Deputy Leader, the Council brought its Revenues and Benefits services in-house from outsourcing giant Capita; Blake said that "bringing these services back in-house" would give the Council "greater control and allow [it] to adapt and respond as the city’s priorities develop locally". Before she left her position Blake initiated the process to bring "digital services and cleaning contracts" in-house. She also supported a campaign to initiate a pilot scheme of universal basic income in Sheffield.
Blake later resigned as Deputy Leader to support a grassroots movement to change the democratic structure of the council, remaining as a councillor. She later resigned from the Council following her election as an MP. In an article she wrote for Tribune magazine, Blake said this was to show support for "a new way of doing politics in our city". She indicated that she intends to "contribute a socialist voice to the referendum debate", to open up a "wider discussion on how to rejuvenate our democracy in Sheffield."
Member of Parliament (2019–present)
She nominated Rebecca Long-Bailey in the 2020 Labour Party leadership election and Angela Rayner in the 2020 Labour Party deputy leadership election. In February 2020, Blake was elected as the Treasurer of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME). Blake was elected to Parliament's Public Accounts Committee in March 2020.
Blake was appointed to the frontbench as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Andy McDonald, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, in January 2020. Following the election of Keir Starmer, she was appointed in April as PPS jointly to Jo Stevens, Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and Ian Murray, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland.
After Wetherspoons' owner Tim Martin was inaccurately reported to have told his 43,000 employees that they would not be furloughed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and should go work at Tesco, as Vice-Chair of the BFAWU Parliamentary Group, Blake coordinated a cross-party letter of 95 MPs to calling on Martin to "put people and not profits first" and continue to pay Wetherspoons workers.
Blake was forced to resign from her position as PPS to Jo Stevens and Ian Murray in September 2020 when she, alongside 18 other Labour MPs, including two other junior office holders, Beth Winter and Nadia Whittome, defied the Labour whip and voted against the Overseas Operations Bill.
Policies and views
In her maiden speech to Parliament, Blake said that the Sheffield Hallam constituency had a "very long history of social justice", as Robin Hood mythology points to a Yorkshire origin in Loxley. She said that Robin of Loxley means she was "not the first person in Sheffield Hallam to stand on a platform of redistributing wealth."
Blake is a supporter of a "Green New Deal" for the UK, and passionate about the issue of climate change. Blake has expressed support for improved transport links for Sheffield to address the climate crisis. In 2020, she wrote to the transport secretary asking him to consider the reopening of the Millhouses and Ecclesall station, suggesting it would reduce congestion in the area. Alongside Louise Haigh, Blake has launched a campaign to reopen railway stations along the Sheaf Valley line, seeking to reopen Millhouses and Heeley stations, and increase capability at Dore & Totley.
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- Drury, Colin (24 March 2020). "Coronavirus: Millionaire Wetherspoon's boss tells staff to consider working for Tesco". The Independent. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
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- "'Jared O'Mara had his faults, but he highlighted crucial issues,' says new MP for Sheffield Hallam Olivia Blake". Yorkshire Post. 15 January 2020. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
- Blake, Olivia. "Olivia and Louise launch Sheaf Valley railway restoration bid". oliviablake.org.uk. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
- "Long-lost Sheffield railway station should be reopened, says MP". www.thestar.co.uk. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
- Williams, Molly (27 May 2020). "Sheffield MPs launch bid to restore Sheaf Valley railway stations to former glory". Sheffield Star. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
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- Burn, Chris (9 May 2018). "'Fresh start' hope after Sheffield tree-felling council boss quits post". The Yorkshire Post. Archived from the original on 13 December 2019. Retrieved 13 December 2019.