Paddy Ashdown: John Major leads tributes to ‘ideals man’ at thanksgiving service

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A aid of thanksgiving had been held at Westminster Abbey for former Liberal Democrat superior Paddy Ashdown.

Lord Ashdown died last December elderly 77, two months after being diagnosed with bladder cancer.

Four quondam Prime Ministers – Sir John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron – were amongst the congregation.

Lord Ashdown was MP for Yeovil from 1983 to 2001 and led the Lib Dems for 11 years between 1988 and 1999.

Sir John told the congregation that Boss around Ashdown was a “political opponent who became a friend”.

He added: “Not one moment of Paddywack’s life and times was ever wasted.

“He was always an internationalist, wedded to common sense and consensus and dismissive of tribal politics. A man for ideals, not shabby deals.”

With regard to 2,000 people attended, including former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, delegates of the Royal Marines, and many people from Paddy Ashdown’s Yeovil constituency.

Representing outside the Abbey, current Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson said Lord Ashdown had a “conclusion and a drive that others could not always match”.

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