Manchester City Council: Bev Craig to succeed Sir Richard Leese

The 36-year-old Burnage councillor received 48 votes of a possible 94, beating off competition from runner-up Cllr Luthfur Rahman, to become the new leader of the council.

Cllrs Garry Bridges and Ekua Bayunu were eliminated in the first round of voting, setting up a second vote pitching Manchester City Council’s two deputy leaders against each other at a meeting of Manchester’s Labour group tonight. Rahman secured 41 votes of the final tally, with five abstaining. 

Cllr Bev Craig was tipped as the favourite to be elected leader when incumbent Sir Richard Leese announced he would step down.  She will be the first female leader of the council.

She will take over from Leese when he steps aside as leader of Manchester City Council at the beginning of December, completing a trio of senior female leaders at the authority.

Chief executive Joanne Roney took over from Sir Howard Bernstein in 2017 and earlier this year Becca Heron was announced as Manchester’s strategic director of growth and development, a position held by Eddie Smith for eight years between 2012 and 2020.

Manchester Ladies Of Power

Women in Power: Becca Heron is Manchester’s incoming strategic director of growth and development, Cllr Bev Craig will be the new council leader and Joanne Roney is the city’s chief executive. Credit: via Manchester City Council

Craig’s victory will see her focus on improving health, boosting affordable housing and championing social equality.  

She first became a councillor in Burnage ward in 2011. In May, she was re-elected, winning 3,036 votes. More than 2,600 more than her closest rival, Conservative candidate Shahed Hossain. 

In a video from Manchester Labour Party, Craig said she was “honoured and humbled and genuinely excited” to take on the new role.

Leese described Craig as “a very able new leader” and added that the fact she was half his age was “a plus as well”.


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Hmmm, just read her winning speech. Tory bashing already. Like them or loath them they will be in government for a long time to come in this country. I would hope for a more pragmatic and collaborative approach in order to benefit Manchester. I am not filled with hope so far, I hope she proves me wrong.

By Bob

Awful speech, Labour need to grow up

By Cal


The fact she is flanked by the old guard tells you everything you need to know already.

Nothing will change.

By 1981

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