Event Write Ups

A Conversation with Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council

We held a fantastic event with Manchester Council leader Bev Craig in August 2023. Bev is the first LGBT+ and first female leader of Manchester Council.

By MattHaworth · August 6, 2023

In August 2023 we welcomed Bev Craig to the Pride in Leadership stage. Bev is the first out LGBTQ+ and first female leader of the Council.

She spoke candidly about coming out in Belfast in the early 2000s, and passionately about equity and inclusion.

Watch it back:



About Bev Craig

Bev became Leader of Manchester City Council on 1st December 2021. First elected in 2011 as a Burnage Councillor, she held a range of responsibilities on Manchester City Council, including serving for 4 years as Executive Member for Adult Social Care, Health and Wellbeing, then as Deputy Leader overseeing resources, capital programmes, social value and digital.

Born and raised on a council estate just outside of Belfast, she was the first in her family to go to university, moving to Manchester in 2003 to study and made it her home.

According to an article about her in The Guardian, Bev  ‘dreamed of moving to Manchester from Northern Ireland after secretly watching Russell T Davies’s Queer As Folk, set in Manchester’s Gay Village, in her bedroom with the sound down’.

After graduating from the University of Manchester she began her career in Local Government, before working in higher education and then a national trade union leading on social care. Alongside working full time Bev completed postgraduate degrees at Warwick Business School and the University of Manchester.

As Executive Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing she oversaw the integration of Manchester’s health and care services, led the city’s COVID health and community response, manging the crisis and focusing on a more equal recovery, and has championed the City’s work to become a Living Wage City.

Since becoming Leader her focus has been on Manchester’s ambitious COVID recovery, the importance of building a more inclusive and sustainable economy, children and young people, equalities, housing and zero carbon. She holds a range of responsibilities on behalf of the city including the GM Economy, Business and International Portfolio for the Combined Authority and the GM Local Enterprise Partnership.

Outside of politics she enjoys sports and being outdoors, music, culture and enjoying all that Manchester has to offer.