PASSIONATE Glaswegian Pat Lally, a former Labour leader and Lord Provost of Glasgow who was known as Lazarus because of his political comebacks, has died at the age of 92.

The long-serving politician was leader of Glasgow District Council before local government reorganisation in the 1990s, and went on to be the city’s Lord Provost from 1996 until 1999.

Glasgow hosted the 1988 Garden Festival during his time in local government and built the Royal Concert Hall – dubbed by some as “Lally’s Palais”. He saw Glasgow become the European City of Culture in 1990 and the City of Architecture almost a decade later in 1999. Lally was temporarily suspended from the Labour Party in 1997 after a “votes-for-trips” scandal, but was later reinstated.

He left Labour – the party he joined in 1950 – in 2003, and ran unsuccessfully for Holyrood three times, including a bid in 2007 to be elected as a candidate for the Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party.

Lally was born in Glasgow and brought up in the city’s Gorbals area, working in the clothing trade before going on to serve as a radar operator in the RAF during the Second World War.

Friend and biographer Neil Baxter said he was Scotland’s highest profile politician for nearly two decades. He said: “Widely credited with transforming his city’s image through its inspired promotion under the cultural banner, he was driven, determined, inspiring, charismatic and rarely out of the news.

“He also had a sparkling sense of humour. Not averse to courting controversy if he felt it was in the interests of the people of Glasgow, Pat Lally 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.”

His wife, Peggy, died in 2007 – their sons, Derek and Robert paid tribute to their father: “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.”