Sheffield politicians pay tribute to former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown

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

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 23rd December 2018, 7:43 am
Updated Tuesday, 8th January 2019, 3:58 pm
The then Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg (right) talking with Lord Paddy Ashdown Ashdown, in 2015. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

The former party leader, 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.

Sir Nick Clegg, former Sheffield Hallam MP and former Lib Dem leader said Lord Ashdown had been '˜the reason I entered politic' and became '˜a lifelong mentor, friend and guide.'

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He added: "He was a soldier, a diplomat, a writer, a leader, a campaigner, a servant of his constituents, and an international statesman.

"But the thing I admired most in him is that rarest of gifts - a politician without an ounce of cynicism."

Lord Paul Scriven, who is also a Lib Dem councillor tweeted: 'A great man...a compassionate Liberal a true friend and mentor.

The then Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg (right) talking with Lord Paddy Ashdown Ashdown, in 2015. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

'Wonderful wit and insight. I will miss Paddy.'

Councillor Shaffaq Mohammed', Sheffield Council Lib Dem, tweeted he was sad to hear the news of his death.

'He was a regular visitor to Sheffield supporting both our local and parliamentary campaigns,' he tweeted.

Lib Dem peer and councillor Paul Scriven

'Paddy was a well respected politician who was highly regarded by all.

'My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Paddy.'

Prospective Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Sheffield Hallam, Laura Gordon, said: 'It feels strange that this feels so personal.

Councillor Shaffaq Mohammed, leader of the Liberal Democrats.

'I'd only met Paddy twice. But he was a true liberal and his passion and commitment shone through always. We so desperately need more like him. Especially now.'

She added: 'He also once advised me on what shoes I needed to deliver leaflets when it was icy.

'Because obviously a septuagenarian former party leader is the person to deliver leaflets in winter.

'But he was a born campaigner who got his hands dirty and led by example. Devastated.'