South West Wales

Jailed ex-Swansea council leader Gerald Murphy dies

Gerald Murphy
Image caption Gerald Murphy briefly returned to city politics in 2003, campaigning to keep the leisure centre open

A former leader of Swansea council who was sent to prison in the 1970s for corruption has died.

Gerald Murphy was jailed for two years in 1977, the year after he lost the leadership of the authority when Labour were swept from office.

But Mr Murphy, who was in his mid-80s, is credited with helping to develop the leisure centre in the city.

Fellow councillor Alan Lloyd called him strong and dynamic but his downfall was because he "tried to please everyone".

Mr Murphy was a councillor for 14 years, and led the authority from 1974 to 1976.

But after he was found guilty of four charges of corruption along with two other men at the city's crown court he was barred from holding office for five years.

Mr Lloyd, who is still a councillor, said: "He was a good leader - he was strong, dynamic. He was not afraid to take decisions whether they were popular or not.

"He wanted to do things for Swansea - he was a real 'Swansea Jack' - but he wanted to please everyone."

Mr Murphy returned to the city's political scene in 2003 when he led the campaign to keep the leisure centre, which was facing closure, open.

He failed to get elected to the council when standing as an independent, but the leisure centre was reopened after a £30m refit.

Mr Lloyd added: "I do know having spoken to him, he did regret standing against the Labour Party."

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