Former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown diagnosed with ‘serious bladder cancer’

Posted On: 
2nd November 2018

Former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown has been diagnosed with a form of bladder cancer.

Lord Ashdown served as leader of the Liberal Democrats from 1988 to 1999
PA Images

The party grandee found out he had the disease last month and said he had "great confidence" he would beat it.

The 77-year-old former Lib Dem leader told Somerset Live: “I have know for about three weeks that I am suffering from a cancer of the bladder.”

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“I’m being effectively and wonderfully looked after by everyone at Yeovil Hospital, in whom I have complete confidence.

“We must see about the outcome, which as always with things like this, is unpredictable.

The former Yeovil MP added: “I’ve fought a lot of battles in my life.

“This time I am lucky enough to have the magnificent help of our help of our local hospital, and my friends and family, and that gives me great confidence.”

The former special forces soldier became the first leader of the Liberal Democrats in 1988 following the merging of the Liberal Party and the Social Democrats.

He led the party until 1999 before entering the House of Lords in 2001.

The party’s leader Vince Cable paid tribute to his former colleague on Twitter.

He said: “My best wishes for a speedy recovery to Paddy Ashdown, one of the great British political figures of the past 30 years and the man who built the Lib Dems into a Parliamentary force. Love to Paddy, Jane and their family

A Lib Dem spokesperson said: “Paddy informed colleagues of his illness two weeks ago.

“We wish him a speedy recovery and know that he will fight this with the vigour of a person 40 years younger.

“We all send our love to him, Jane and the family.”