Former Lib Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown has died at 77

LONDON (AP) — Britain's Liberal Democrat party has announced the death of former leader Paddy Ashdown after a short illness. He was 77.

The popular, articulate Ashdown was for decades a prominent figure in Britain and continental Europe.

Party leader Vince Cable said Saturday that it was a "hugely sad day" and that everyone across the political spectrum "had immense affection and respect for Paddy."

Ashdown was a former Royal Marine who served in the role of High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2002. He served in the Special Boat Service during his military years and later received a knighthood and served in the House of Lords.

Ashdown said last month he was being treated for bladder cancer.