A death is tragic at any time of the year, but seems especially so at Christmas; taking a loved one away at a time we traditionally reserve for family.

My thoughts and wishes are with Paddy Ashdown’s family.

Whether you shared his political outlook or not Paddy had an enormous impact on the politics of this country, and especially in the south west. He worked tirelessly not just for Yeovil but for people and communities across the region.

Since his passing was announced everyone I have spoken to has unprompted shared stories of his generosity, kindness, and sense of humour.

As well as gratitude for his support of their project or business.

He served his country in so many capacities but probably no more so than as a lasting reminder of a better type of politics: more congenial and collaborative, less self-serving and divisive.

I hope his passing will prompt a moment’s reflection amongst our political establishment.

A fitting memorial would be for them to follow his example.


Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for West Dorset