Tributes to 'inspirational' Dame Tessa Jowell after death

UK's Former Culture Secretary Has Died At Age 70

UK's Former Culture Secretary Has Died At Age 70

Former cabinet minister Baroness Tessa Jowell has died from cancer at the age of 70, her family says.

She had been in a coma until her death on Saturday.

"Her contribution to the Olympic and Paralympic Games is easily defined - quite simply, without Tessa there would have been no London 2012, and without Tessa they would not have been the success they were".

Sarah Lindsell, the chief executive of the Brain Tumour Charity, said: "Tessa Jowell's courage and honesty in speaking about her brain tumour diagnosis, coupled with her fierce determination to improve the lives of others affected by the disease, has already brought hope to an often-forgotten community of patient and families".

A statement from her family said it was "with great sadness, and an enormous sense of loss" that they announce the news of her death. "Her husband David and their children Jessie and Matthew were by her side, with Jessie's husband Finn, Matthew's wife Ella, and David's children from his first marriage".

Former prime minister Tony Blair said: "Tessa had passion, determination and simple human decency in greater measure than any person I have ever known".

"She was an inspiration to work with, and a joy to be near".

Lisa Nandy, from a younger crop of Labour MPs and formerly Jowell's personal private secretary, said: "As a new MP arriving at Westminster in 2010 I could not have wished for a wiser, kinder or more experienced mentor than Tessa".

Lord Sebastian Coe, president of the IAAF and chairman of the London organising committee of the Olympic Games, described Dame Tessa as "a life enhancer" adding: "Without Tessa there would have been no London 2012, and without Tessa they would not have been the success they were".

Here she took on the job of convincing unsure colleagues about the merits of hosting the Olympics in 2012.

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said: "Tessa was an indefatigable campaigner who translated care from a word to a deed at every turn. Passionate, warm and empathetic, she saw the best in everyone and won respect and affection across the political spectrum".

Ilford North would not fall to Labour until 1997, by which time Ms Jowell had been an MP for five years in the south London Dulwich and West Norwood constituency.

Mr Mills accompanied her, along with their children Jess and Matthew, to Buckingham Palace when she was invested with her damehood in January 2013.

"My sympathies to her loving family - Dame Tessa's campaigning on brain cancer research is a lasting tribute to a lifetime of public service". She showed unflinching tenacity in persuading the Prime Minister and the Cabinet that the Government should throw its full weight behind the bid.

Former acting Labour leader Harriet Harman said Dame Tessa was "no softie", adding: "She was clever and tough". "Our thoughts are with her family".

After being diagnosed with a brain tumour in May 2017, Dame Tessa worked to raise awareness about the realities of cancer, and made an impassioned plea in Parliament for better treatments for patients. She was an extraordinary politician who's legacy - SureStart and the Olympics to name but two - improved lives for so many around the country.

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