"An extraordinary man" and "a true radical” are some of the many tributes paid to former Liberal Democrats' leader Paddy Ashdown, who has died aged 77.

Lord Ashdown passed away on Saturday evening following a short illness. He was diagnosed with bladder cancer in October.

The longest serving leader of the Lib Dems in its history, Lord Ashdown led the party between 1988 and 1999.

Welsh Liberal Democrats' leader Jane Dodds said he was "a mountain of a man" and a "big inspiration" to her.

"Paddy Ashdown came to support my campaign in Montgomeryshire in 2015. I hadn't met him before and didn't quite know what to expect.

"He grilled me about my campaign, asking searching questions and gave wonderful advice. Later, he spoke to a packed meeting in The Royal Oak in Welshpool and he was brilliant.

"He spoke with vision, passion and hope from the first principles of Liberalism, uplifting us all and giving a great launch to our campaign. It was an evening I will never forget"

The Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for Brecon and Radnorshire Kirsty Williams said Lord Ashdown was "a Liberal to the core" and led the party with "passion and energy" at a time when the party became a growing force in UK politics.

Former Liberal Democrats MP for Montgomeryshire, Lord Carlile of Berriew, said Lord Ashdown was an "exciting, enjoyable, dynamic" leader. They were both were elected to Parliament in June 1983 and afterwards knew each other in the House of Lords.

"He was a very quick thinker. He knew how to command, in the nicest possible way. It was always an enormous pleasure to be with him socially. Over the years in parliament we must have had dinner together in a group hundreds of times and a table political chatter always improved dramatically when Paddy arrived at the table.

"I cannot remember any other Liberal Democrat political leader who commanded such praise from people right across the board for his ability and skill.

"He was an extraordinary man."

After standing down as an MP in 2001, Lord Ashdown served as the United Nations' high representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Lord Carlile said: "He proved his quality after he retired as the leader of the Liberal Democrats. He conducted with the utmost skill and probably as a result of his very skilled diplomatic intervention saved many, many lives and a lot of misery."