Sheffield Hallam MP Olivia Blake steps down from other role as city councillor

Olivia Blake, who was elected as Sheffield Hallam’s MP in December, has now resigned from her other job as a city councillor.

Tuesday, 3rd March 2020, 4:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd March 2020, 4:00 pm

Olivia won the Hallam seat in last year’s general election but remained as a Walkley councillor in order to avoid triggering a byelection.

She stopped claiming her councillor’s allowance the day after the general election and has now decided to stand down from the role.

Olivia said: “I decided to stand down today because Sheffield Council has its budget meeting on Wednesday but I can’t attend because I have a whip to be in Parliament. I was going to hold out until the local elections but I want to focus on Parliament.”

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Sheffield Hallam MP Olivia Blake

Her resignation will not prompt a byelection because her resignation is within six months of the local elections in May so her seat will remain vacant until then.

There are two other Walkley councillors, Ben Curran and Neale Gibson, who constituents can still contact with any questions or issues they may have.

A councillor since 2014, Olivia served as Deputy Leader from 2016 to 2019 before sensationally quitting to support the It’s Our City referendum.

As an MP, she will focus on tackling the climate crisis. She also sits on the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee and says she will use her background in finance to hold the government to account.

She added: “I have been proud to serve on Sheffield Council for nearly six years, and I look forward to continuing to represent our great city as one of its MPs over the coming years.

“As a councillor I’ve consistently fought to forge a fairer future for Sheffield and combat austerity, and I hope that I can continue to transform our city.”

Three candidates have so far put their names forward to fight the Walkey seat in the local elections - Fran Belbin (Labour), Irshad Akbar (Liberal Democrats) and Debbie Moon (Green Party).