Sarah Olney

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Sarah Olney
Sarah Olney York 2017.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Richmond Park
In office
1 December 2016 – 3 May 2017
Preceded by Zac Goldsmith
Succeeded by Zac Goldsmith
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Education
In office
8 May 2017 – 16 June 2017
Leader Tim Farron
Preceded by John Pugh
Succeeded by Layla Moran
Personal details
Born Sarah Jane McGibbon
1977 (age 40–41)
Surrey, England
Political party Liberal Democrats
Spouse(s)
Benjamin Olney (m. 2002)
Children 2
Alma mater King's College London

Sarah Jane Olney (née McGibbon; born 1977)[1][2][3] is a British Liberal Democrat politician and an accountant. She was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Richmond Park for six months from a by-election in December 2016 to the general election in June 2017, having won the seat from the Conservatives.

Early life and career[edit]

Olney was born in Surrey.[4] She was educated at All Hallows Catholic School in Farnham and then studied English Literature at King's College London.[5][6]

Olney is a qualified accountant.[7] She worked as an accountant at Barclays, Arts & Business, Distilled Ltd, SCi Sales Group and the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington until she entered politics after the 2015 General Election.[8][9]

Political career[edit]

Olney joined the Liberal Democrats in July 2015, soon after the general election, in realisation that she was a liberal dissatisfied with the direction of the United Kingdom.[9][10]

On 25 October 2016, Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith announced his resignation from the House of Commons over his objection to his party's support for a third runway at Heathrow Airport, triggering a by-election in his seat of Richmond Park.[11] Goldsmith stood in the by-election as an independent candidate although he remained a Conservative party member. On 30 October 2016, Olney was announced as the Liberal Democrats' candidate for the by-election.[12][13]

On 1 December 2016, Olney was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Richmond Park.[14] She received 20,510 votes (49.6% of total votes), giving her a majority of 1,872 votes (4.5%).[10] She was the only female Liberal Democrat MP in the 2015–2017 parliament.

In the 2017 general election, Olney narrowly lost her seat to Goldsmith, who stood as the Conservative candidate, polling 45.07% of the vote to Goldsmith's 45.14%, giving Goldsmith a majority of 45.[15]

On 9 September 2017 it was announced that she would be taking up the post of chief of staff for Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable.[16] On 6 November 2017, Olney announced that she had resigned from the job after just six weeks, citing her determination to re-contest her former parliamentary constituency, and the incompatibility of this with the Chief of Staff job. Instead, she was retained by the party on her full-time Chief of Staff salary of £68,000, but for a part-time role as "Special Projects Manager".[17]

Views[edit]

Olney opposes the building of a third runway at Heathrow Airport.[18] On the topic of Brexit, Olney voted against the triggering of Article 50, as she had indicated during the by-election campaign that she would do.[19][14] She believes another referendum should be held once the exact terms of Britain's exit from the EU have been announced.[20]

Sunday Times Political Editor Tim Shipman subsequently revealed that at the 2017 UK general election, the Liberal Democrats had been due to announce a policy legalising prostitution and taxing the proceeds, but that the policy had been shelved three days prior to their manifesto's launch due to Olney's opposition, citing her belief that the policy would be "morally indefensible on the doorstep."[21]

Personal life[edit]

Olney has two children with her husband Ben, a town planner.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hope, Christopher; Henderson, Barney. "Richmond Park by-election: Lib Dems' Sarah Olney defeats Zac Goldsmith". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2 December 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2016. 
  2. ^ "Who is Sarah Olney? New Richmond Park MP who ousted Zac Goldsmith". The Sun. 2 December 2016. Archived from the original on 2 December 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2016. 
  3. ^ "Perspective on Politics" (PDF). InTouch. London: King's College London. Spring 2017. Retrieved 20 March 2018. 
  4. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 20 March 2018. 
  5. ^ "All Hallows Catholic School Newsletter" (pdf). allhallows.net. All Hallows Catholic School. December 2016. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 January 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2017. 
  6. ^ Nagesh, Ashitha (2 December 2016). "Who is Sarah Olney, Richmond Park's new MP who ousted Zac Goldsmith?". Metro. Archived from the original on 2 December 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2016. 
  7. ^ Henderson, Barney (2 December 2016). "Richmond Park by-election: Lib Dems' Sarah Olney defeats Zac Goldsmith in Brexit backlash". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2 December 2016. 
  8. ^ "Sarah Olney". uk.linkedin.com. LinkedIn. 
  9. ^ a b Murphy, Joe (23 November 2016). "Lib Dem Sarah Olney: 'Beating Zac Goldsmith in the Richmond Park by-election would be a Brexit game-changer'". London Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 2 December 2016. 
  10. ^ a b "Lib Dems oust Goldsmith in by-election". BBC News. 2 December 2016. Archived from the original on 2 December 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2016. 
  11. ^ Mason, Rowena; Topham, Gwyn; Elgot, Jessica (25 October 2016). "Zac Goldsmith to resign as Heathrow decision sparks Tory unrest". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 1 December 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2016. 
  12. ^ a b "Sarah Olney selected for Richmond Park". libdems.org.uk. Liberal Democrats. 30 October 2016. Archived from the original on 2 December 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2016. 
  13. ^ Press Association (30 October 2016). "Lib Dems' Sarah Olney to contest Richmond Park byelection". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2 December 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2016. 
  14. ^ a b Craig, Jon (2 December 2016). "Lib Dem Sarah Olney beats Zac Goldsmith in Richmond Park by-election". Sky News. Archived from the original on 2 December 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2016. 
  15. ^ "Election 2017: Richmond Park". BBC News. 9 September 2017. Archived from the original on 9 September 2017. Retrieved 9 September 2017. 
  16. ^ Mark Pack (9 September 2017). "Vince Cable appoints new Chief of Staff". Archived from the original on 3 December 2017. Retrieved 9 September 2017. 
  17. ^ 'H.P. Sauce', Private Eye, 1457, 17 November 2017, p. 14.
  18. ^ Gillett, Francesca (2 December 2016). "Who is Sarah Olney? What you need to know about the Liberal Democrat who ousted Zac Goldsmith from Richmond Park". London Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 3 December 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2016. 
  19. ^ Batchelor, Tom (1 February 2017). "Article 50 Brexit vote: Full list of MPs who backed Theresa May starting official EU negotiations – and those who voted against". The Independent. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2017. 
  20. ^ Asthana, Anushka (2 December 2016). "Push for hard Brexit led to Richmond Park win, says new Lib Dem MP". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2 December 2016. Retrieved 3 December 2016. 
  21. ^ Tim Shipman, Fall Out: A Year of Political Mayhem (London: Collins, 2017), p. 258.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Zac Goldsmith
Member of Parliament
for Richmond Park

20162017
Succeeded by
Zac Goldsmith