Funeral for Paddy Ashdown held in Somerset

Credit: ITV West Country

The funeral of former Yeovil MP and Liberal Democrat leader Lord Ashdown has taken place in his home village in Somerset.

Paddy Ashdown died last month after a short battle with cancer at the age of 77. Tributes for the statesman poured in.

Among the guests to attended was former Prime Minister Sir John Major.

The church in Norton-sub-Hamdon was reserved for family members, but the service was relayed to the nearby village hall for members of the public.

Credit: ITV West Country

Born in India and raised in Northern Ireland, he later served in the Royal Marines and Special Boat Service, including in Borneo and the Persian Gulf.

He hit the headlines four years into his leadership of the Lib Dems when, in 1992, he revealed he had had a five-month affair with his secretary, which led The Sun to nickname him "Paddy Pantsdown".

His marriage to wife Jane survived the scandal.

After stepping down as leader, Ashdown, who was MP for Yeovil from 1983 to 2001, was first knighted and then made a peer as Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon when he quit the Commons.

He became High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina in May 2002 and, more recently, went on to play a role in the Remain campaign during the 2016 referendum, appearing alongside then-PM David Cameron and Lord Kinnock, the former Labour leader.

After revealing his cancer diagnosis, he tweeted that it "does not merit a fuss", adding: "Many go through this. The NHS guys in Yeovil Hosp. are BRILLIANT.

"I have the best of people and the best of friends to fight this with, which makes me, as so often in my life, very lucky."