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In memory of our Patron, the late Lord Paddy Ashdown

December 24, 2018 9:23 AM

Lord Paddy Ashdown at FCC Paddy Ashdown and Linda Chung"The news after coming home from a pleasant dinner with a friend last night was like a splash of cold water.

We thought he was immortal. I sat between him and his wife Jane at our Chinese Liberal Democrats dinner last September at the time of the Brighton conference.

We chatted, gossiped and laughed. He was as inspiring and as funny as ever during the occasion. There was no inkling that he was ill.

Seventy seven is a comparatively young age, and when we heard he had cancer in October, like him, we brushed it off. We thought he would conquer it, of course. We thought he would always be with us, he would continue to be our patron, unique in being a politician who could understand Chinese, ready to give his generous help, humour and courage to fight for what we all believed in, a wish to create a kind, prosperous, and just society.

The heavy sadness of the loss sunk in, and tears came on; we were so privileged to know him and to have his support. We shall miss him very much, and send our deep condolences to Jane and his family."

Linda Chung, Founder Member, Chinese Liberal Democrats

"Such sad news to wake up to today. #PaddyAshdown was even before I became a Libdem one I admired - being one of the only prominent political leaders to call for #Hongkong citizens to be given the right of abode in UK post reunification. I had the pleasure to meet him at this year's #LibDem conference at @chineselibdems dinner for which Paddy was our patron. He regaled us with anecdotes, full of life, vigour & energy. A fluent Mandarin speaker (a man of such talents and experience) he led us into a chant:

自由民主黨萬歲!Long live the Liberal Democrat's! I and other #LibDems will carry on your work Paddy and ensure we keep the candle burning on liberalism & democracy just as we need it the most. We will continue to fight #Brexit, fight to be heard & fight for the most vulnerable.

Paddy was a true patriot, serving his country and fighting for its values to the end. Wishing his wife Jane and his family our deepest sympathies and condolences. I'm genuinely heartbroken." 😥

Tweet by Cllr Sarah Cheung Johnson, South Cambridgeshire

Marguerita Morton and Paddy Ashdown

"I have always known Paddy to be charming, caring and brave. He was gracious under fire as our leader in the Commons. When he fought battles for you, you felt that he was 100% with you in mind and soul. I have read his autobiographies and what I have read reinforces my impression of Paddy. A genuine and honest servant of the people."

Marguerita Morton, former Councillor of Tunbridge Wells

Editor: RIP Paddy. We will always cherish memories of you, and will continue your fight for freedom and democracy.