A FORMER Liberal Democrat MP for West Cornwall has paid tribute to Paddy Ashdown, who died on Saturday.

The eldest of seven children, Lord Ashdown was the leader of the Lib-Dems throughout the 1990s, during which time Andrew George, was elected as St Ives MP in 1997.

Mr George said: "Paddy was a remarkably energetic, enthusiastic and courageous natural leader. He set high standards for others to follow.

"Just at the time our country needs a leader with the clarity, political principles and courage of someone like Paddy. We must carry his torch with us. I can hear him urging us on."

Lord Ashdown, who died of cancer aged 77, was the MP for Yeovil and was in office from 1983 to 2001, after which he fulfilled a variety of political roles.