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Ex-Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown diagnosed with bladder cancer

November 2, 2018 2:02 PM
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The 77-year-old politician says he has "fought a lot of battles in my life" after being diagnosed within the last month.

The 77-year-old, who led the party between 1988 and 1999, described how he had been diagnosed with the disease within the last month.

Speaking to the Somerset Live website, Lord Ashdown said: "I have known for about three weeks that I am suffering from a cancer of the bladder."

He added: "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.

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

A Liberal Democrat 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.

Lord Ashdown was Yeovil's MP for close to two decades between 1983 and 2001, after which he has sat in the House of Lords.

Prior to entering politics, Lord Ashdown served with the Royal Marines, the secret services and as a UK diplomat.

He was the founding leader of the Lib Dems following the merger of the old Liberal Party and Social Democratic Party.

The Lib Dems reached a high of 46 House of Commons seats under Lord Ashdown's leadership, but he failed to convince Labour to form a coalition government after Tony Blair's 1997 landslide election victory.


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