Jeremy John Durham 'Paddy' Ashdown, Baron Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon GCMG CH KBE PC (27 February 1941 – 22 December 2018) was a British politician and international diplomat. He was the leader of the Liberal Democrats from July 1988 to August 1999.
Paddy Ashdown was born in New Delhi, British India, but was brought up in Northern Ireland and his Irish accent brought him the nickname 'Paddy'. He served in the Royal Marines from 1959 to 1972 and saw fighting in Borneo, Hong Kong and Northern Ireland. At the 1983 General Election, Paddy Ashdown became the Liberal Party Member of Parliament for the constituency of Yeovil.
In 1988, when the Liberal Party merged with the Social Democratic Party to form the Liberal Democrats, Ashdown was elected the leader of the new party and led the party through the 1992 and 1997 General Elections. He resigned in 1999 and was given both a knighthood and a seat in the House of Lords. In the House of Lords, he was given the name Baron Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon. From 2002 to 2006 he was the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
His reputation was damaged slightly in 1992, when it was revealed that he had a five-month extra-marital affair with his secretary and many British newspapers exposed this in great detail. The Sun newspaper ran a famous headline which played on Ashdown's name, calling him 'Paddy Pants-Down'.
- "Curriculum Vitae: Paddy Ashdown". Office of the High Representative (OHR) and EU Special Representative (EUSR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 27 May 2002. Archived from the original on 10 November 2007. Retrieved 23 November 2007. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Jonathan Sale (18 October 2001). "An education in the life of Lord Ashdown: 'I was bullied early on, but then I learnt to fight'". The Independent. London. Retrieved 23 November 2007.
- "Ashdown to quit as leader". BBC News. 20 January 1999.
- Lucy Ward (21 January 1999). "End of the Ashdown era". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 22 November 2007.
- "Ex-Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown diagnosed with bladder cancer". Sky News. November 2, 2018.
- "Ex-Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown dies aged 77". BBC News. 22 December 2018. Retrieved 22 December 2018.