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South Yorkshire’s newly elected mayor has told Prime Minister Boris Johnson “sleight of hand is no replacement for substance, spin no replacement for support”, after retaining the post for Labour.
Oliver Coppard was declared winner of the mayoral race on Friday afternoon in Sheffield after the count went to a second-round run-off with Conservative challenger Clive Watkinson.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you. pic.twitter.com/OAZuuHWbmq
— Oliver Coppard (@olivercoppard) May 6, 2022
Mr Coppard replaces Labour’s Dan Jarvis, who was the first South Yorkshire mayor and who remains the Barnsley Central MP.
He was previously best known for an unsuccessful run against Sir Nick Clegg in the Sheffield Hallam constituency in the 2015 general election.
He said: “My message to Boris Johnson and the Government in London is this: things have to change, enough is enough.
“Sleight of hand is no replacement for substance, spin no replacement for support.
“Our communities deserve better.”
The new mayor said South Yorkshire’s challenges were “a result of political choices, most often made 200 miles away by a government who neither know nor understand this place we call home”.
Mr Coppard secured 143,476 votes, once the second preferences of the eliminated candidates were redistributed, compared with 57,347 for his Tory rival.
The turnout was 26.4%.
Voters went to polls for the mayoral election in Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster and Barnsley.