Paddy “was the most heartfelt person I have known” – Nick Clegg

Nick Clegg has paid tribute to “his” leader, the man who brought him into the party and then supported him throughout his career and throughout the darkest days of the coalition:

My heart goes out to Jane and Paddy’s whole family.

Paddy was the reason I entered politics. He was the reason I became a liberal. And he became a lifelong mentor, friend and guide. Much will, rightly, be said about him in the days ahead. He was a soldier, a diplomat, a writer, a leader, a campaigner, a servant of his constituents, and an international statesman.

But the thing I admired most in him is that rarest of gifts – a politician without an ounce of cynicism. He was the most heartfelt person I have known – loyal and generous to a fault. Like so many others, I will miss him terribly.

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One Comment

  • It was a privilege to part of Paddy’s first General Election campaign in ’92. Our survival was at stake. He was brilliant, up for everything and a good result emerged from the “rubble of the merger row” . Afterwards he said in a very Paddy way that much of the election had been “vacuous”. He wanted to met “real people” away from the cameras and no more “sound bites”. We got to work. He dedicated time to people, families and communities ignored by politicians. His tireless energy meant no neglect of his beloved Yeovil, our growing Party or his duties as Leader. His book “Beyond Westminster, finding hope in Britain” was the inspiring result. He maintained those connections and in the ’97 campaign returned to many of them to be greeted as the “compassionate, hero” that cared and acted to help people that so many of us respected and loved. That commitment, energy and strategic intelligence brought peace, justice and democracy to Bosnia – in that order as he pointed out to me. It is very hard to believe that my phone will not ring at 6.45am with that familiar voice saying either “Now this is what I need you to do” or “What the bloody hell..,”. Our brilliant and beloved Paddy has been taken far too soon. His project of creating a progressive, internationalist, compassionate, united political force remains a work in progress. So tears must be dried, Christmas celebrated and our efforts redoubled in the New Year. Because we know in Paddy”s words “what I need you to do” to save the country he loved from the disaster of Brexit. In his memory, and for all our children and grandchildren, we need to get on and do it.

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