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Friday, 16 June, 2000, 21:29 GMT 22:29 UK
Knighthood for Ashdown
Sir Paddy
Arise, Sir Paddy! Mr Ashdown is made a knight
Former Liberal Democrat Leader Paddy Ashdown joins a host of television- and film-stars celebrating receiving an award in the Queen's birthday honours list.

Mr Ashdown, who led his party for 11 years, has been given a knighthood.

Paddy Ashdown was the most successful Liberal leader of the last 70 years

Charles Kennedy
He is joined in the roll of honours by ITN's former political correspondent, Michael Brunson, who receives an OBE.

Mr Ashdown said his knighthood was a recognition of the work of many people.

He said: "I am obviously delighted with an honour which I regard as recognition for the achievements of my colleagues at Westminster and in my Yeovil constituency over the past 17 years."

'Dedication'

His successor as Liberal Democrat Leader, Charles Kennedy, said: "Paddy Ashdown was the most successful Liberal leader of the last 70 years.

"He has made an outstanding contribution to British politics and to the cause and principles of Liberal Democracy both at home and abroad.

"His dedication and commitment to the party and the ideals which he championed are unrivalled. His honour is richly deserved."

Mr Ashdown, MP for Yeovil in Somerset, saw active service as a Commando Officer in Borneo and the Persian Gulf when he was a Royal Marine.

Tribute to ITN

Veteran political reporter Michael Brunson, who retired from ITN in the spring, said he was delighted to have been awarded the honour for services to broadcasting.

But he added: "It's largely for ITN's benefit, rather than mine personally.

"I worked for ITN for 32 years, and none of this would have been possible if it wasn't for them, so I'm very pleased from their point of view."

Until News at Ten was scrapped, bespectacled Brunson, 59, was familiar to millions of viewers as the programme's political editor.

See also:

26 Sep 99 | UK Politics
10 Aug 99 | UK Politics
16 Jun 00 | UK Politics
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