• STV
  • MySTV

Former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown dies aged 77

Tributes have been paid to the politician who died following a short battle with cancer

Leader: Mr Ashdown announced he had cancer in November.
Leader: Mr Ashdown announced he had cancer in November.

Tributes have poured in from across politics for former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown, who has died aged 77 following a short illness.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie joined Theresa May and former Prime Minister John Major in hailing the dedication and decency of the politician and former commando, who passed away on Saturday evening.

Mr Ashdown, who was credited with making the Lib Dems a significant third force in politics during his tenure between 1988 and 1999, had announced he was suffering from bladder cancer in November.

The party announced his passing, saying he would be remembered "as someone who made an immeasurable contribution to furthering the cause of liberalism".

Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Willie Rennie said:"Paddy Ashdown was an inspiration to so many people and I am proud to count myself as one of them.

"In a few short years his fighting spirit and clarity of thought took the party from the wreckage of the SDP Liberal merger to the strongest liberal force since the first world war.

"Paddy had time for everyone, guided and nurtured the party, converted even the fiercest foe and committed his heart and soul to the success of the liberal ideal."

He added: "From the first moment I met him whilst working for the party in Cornwall I followed him on a great journey. Thank you Paddy. My thoughts are with Jane and the family."

Tributes also came in from his former political opponents, with Sir John Major saying he was "a man of duty, passion, and devotion to the country he loved - right up to the very end".

Current Prime Minister Theresa May said Lord Ashdown had "served his country with distinction", adding: "He dedicated his life to public service and he will be sorely missed."

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.