Pat Lally

Pat Lally

Pat Lally (born 1926) is a former Leader of Glasgow City Council and Lord Provost of Glasgow.

Early years

Pat Lally was born and brought up in the Gorbals, a poor district of Glasgow. He left school at 13, and was conscripted to the RAF after the War. He joined the Labour Party in 1950 and was elected as a Glasgow Corporation councillor in 1966.

Glasgow Council

Lally was involved in local government politics from 1966 to 1999. Although he was suspended from Labour's candidates list in 1977 in a housing allocation row, he returned to the City Chambers in 1980. He was council leader of Glasgow Council in the early 1990s and became Lord Provost of the new City Council in 1995, serving until 1999. During this time he did much to promote Glasgow on the national and international stage. He was credited as the driving force behind civic successes such as the 1988 Glasgow Garden Festival, Glasgow becoming European City of Culture in 1990, and European City of Architecture in 1999. He was also played an important role in the creation of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, which is sometimes dubbed 'Lally's Palais'.

In 1997 he and Alex Mosson were suspended by the Labour party in a "votes for trips" scandal. Both took the party to the Court of Session and had the suspension revoked. Lally retired from local government in 1999.

Pat Lally is nicknamed 'Lazarus', as a result of his numerous political comebacks.


He quit the Labour Party in 2003, but later that year stood at the age of 77 against Mike Watson in Glasgow Cathcart to be an MSP as a health campaign candidate, and stood again to be an MSP in the October 2005 by-election, against ex-council leader Charlie Gordon, as an independent for the same constituency.

Lally stood as a candidate for the Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party in the 2007 Scottish Parliament election on the Glasgow list. His wife, Peggy, died on polling day, May 3.

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