From Vince Cable:
It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that Paddy Ashdown passed away earlier this evening following a short illness.
This is a hugely sad day for the Liberal Democrats and for the very many people across political and public life who had immense affection and respect for Paddy.
Paddy was famous for his politics, but his talents extended well beyond that arena. He was an accomplished author and had spent many years serving the country before he got near the House of Commons. Once in Parliament, he made a real mark. He was always listened to, in particular, on international issues and defence. He took up unpopular causes where he was respected for his convictions.
He inspired the Liberal Democrats from a polling position he famously described as ‘represented by an asterisk’, to become a formidable campaigning force laying the ground for the strength which later took the party into government.
In recent years, he has been a powerful voice of real significance to the pro-European cause. He will be sadly missed in all parts of politics and Parliament.
We have set up an online book of condolence should you wish to share a message or simply leave your name. All messages will be sent to Paddy's family.
You can add your name and comments here: www.libdems.org.uk/book-of-condolence-paddy-ashdown
Leader of the Liberal Democrats