Former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown has died, aged 77, following a short spell with cancer.
Paddy Ashdown served as MP for Yeovil from 1983-2001, before becoming the UN High Commissioner to Bosnia & Herzegovina. Paddy more than doubled the number of Lib Dem MPs during his time as leader and will be remembered for his integrity, compassion and optimism.
Vince Cable, Liberal Democrat leader, has said:
"He inspired the Liberal Democrats from a polling position he famously described as ‘represented by an asterisk’, to become a formidable campaigning force, doubling the party’s representation to 46 MPs and laying the ground for the strength which later took the party into government."
"He will be sadly missed in all parts of politics and Parliament."
Stephen Williams, former MP for Bristol West and colleagues with Paddy, added:
"This news makes me very sad and tearful. So many memories. At a time when liberalism was on the floor he picked it up, marshalled its forces, gave orders and sent us into battle with so many victories as a result."
James Cox, Parliamentary Candidate for Bristol West, also added:
"Paddy was a hero. He saved Liberalism in Britain, he stood up for the underdog and won and was one of politics' greatest thinkers. His voice of reassurance, hope and justice is needed now more than ever. Thank you, Paddy, for everything. We will miss you."
Andrew Brown, Parliamentary Candidate for Bristol South, commented:
"The party and the country has lost a statesman, at a time when people of his calibre are in short supply."
On online book of condolence has been set up. Please feel free to add your comments to it: www.libdems.org.uk/book-of-condolence-paddy-ashdown