Paddy Ashdown passed away this weekend aged 77. He was a great friend and mentor to me over many years. He served on the Advisory Council of G3 since its inception in 2005.

Paddy was not only a leader who worked tirelessly to strengthen our democracy in the UK but he did the same to strengthen the rule of law worldwide.

His life was one of service. He served as a Royal Marine officer in the Special Boat Service (SBS) and saw action in South East Asia. He subsequently joined MI-6 as a clandestine officer. He went on to become a member of Parliament (and the only officer of MI-6 to do so to date). He served his constituency over many years and became the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party in the UK. After the war in Yugoslavia he helped bring peace and stability to Bosnia as the Special EU High Representative for Bosnia. He helped to broker the Coalition Government in 2015. In recent years he researched and wrote several excellent books on grand strategy and on WW II intelligence history.

He was devoted to his family. The only time I could not reach him for business was when he was spending dedicated time with Jane, his wife, his children and grandchildren. His favourite thing was to ski with them in the Alps.

Paddy is a British hero. Our thoughts are with his wife Jane and his children and grandchildren.