Watch Paddy Ashdown Say 'Bastards' Live On The BBC Seven Times In Four Minutes

Lord Ashdown said the word "bastards" seven times in four minutes on BBC News at lunchtime on Tuesday, which must be a new record.

The former Lib Dem leader was asked by the BBC's assistant political editor Norman Smith what he thought of John Major's warning about a Labour-SNP alliance.

In a speech this morning, the former Conservative prime minister said Ed Miliband would be subject to a ''a daily dose of political blackmail'' from nationalists who would ''create merry hell".

But Ashdown said Major seemed to be forgetting his own time in office, which saw him at the mercy of his own eurosceptic backbenchers.

The Lib Dem peer repeatedly used the word "bastards" to illustrate his point. Major famously was caught referring to right-wing Tory MPs who opposed his leadership of the party in the 1990s as "bastards".

  • "Mr Major, who had 16 bastards he called them bastards thats his word not mine, in his party."
  • "Mr Blair used the phrase about Mr Major, because of the bastards, he called him weak, weak, weak."
  • "The Conservative Party today has not 16 bastards, but 60 bastards. Right-wingers who want to do a deal with Ukip."
  • I believe we have as much to fear from the extreme right of the Conservative Party, from the 60 so called bastards, Mr Major's phrase, not mine."
  • "As the 16 bastards crucified Mr Major last time they will do exactly the same with Mr Cameron."

A few moments later, Ashdown popped up on Sky News to use the word "bastards" a couple more times.