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Former Glasgow Council leader Pat Lally dies aged 92

The long-serving politician was first elected as a Glasgow Corporation councillor in 1966.

Pat Lally, the former leader of Glasgow Council and lord provost, has died aged 92.

The long-serving Labour politician, who was nicknamed Lazarus because of his numerous comebacks, passed away on Friday after a long illness.

Lally was first elected as a Glasgow Corporation councillor in 1966 and served as provost from 1995 to 1999.

STV political editor Bernard Ponsonby described Lally, who was credited with the success of Glasgow's famous garden festival but also faced a series of political scandals, as a "divisive figure".

"He was a man who lived modestly but who in his civic positions rubbed shoulders with royalty and statesmen, all with the purpose of making his beloved Glasgow a little better for its citizens.

"He was a divisive figure within Labour politics but when he was on top he fostered a sense of civic pride and promoted what were considered unfashionable causes like the arts and architecture."

Lally backed Glasgow's successful bid to become European City of Culture in 1990 and played a crucial role in the creation of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, which was nicknamed Lally's Palais.

He was temporarily suspended from the Labour Party in 1997 after becoming embroiled in the "votes-for-trips" scandal but was later reinstated.

Lally quit the party in 2003 and stood unsuccessfully as an MSP three times, including a 2007 bid as a candidate for the Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party.

His biographer and friend Neil Baxter described him as "driven and determined with a sparkling sense of humour".

'For nearly two decades Pat Lally was Scotland's highest-profile local politician.'
Lally biographer Neil Baxter

"For nearly two decades Pat Lally was Scotland's highest-profile local politician," he said.

"Not averse to courting controversy if he felt it was in the interests of the people of Glasgow, he bravely fought off a series of personal attacks, secure in the knowledge that he had dedicated his career to serving the city he loved with vision, passion and integrity."

Lally had two sons with his wife Peggy, to whom he was married for nearly 39 years before her death on May 3, 2007 - the same day as his final stand for office.

Controversy: Lally faces reporters amid 'votes-for-trips' scandal.
Controversy: Lally faces reporters amid 'votes-for-trips' scandal. PA

Derek and Robert added: "We are very proud of all that our dad achieved and of his contribution to Glasgow and Scotland.

"A passionate Glaswegian, he was also a dedicated family man and a devoted husband, father and grandfather."

Born in Glasgow in 1926 and raised in the Gorbals, Lally initially worked in the clothing trade. After serving as a radar operator in the RAF during World War Two, he joined the Labour party in 1950.

After long service as a city councillor he was ultimately leader of Glasgow District Council for eight years between 1986 to 1982 and then again from 1994 to 1996.

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