Dame Tessa Jowell dies aged 70

by Antonio Miles May 14, 2018, 5:56
Dame Tessa Jowell dies aged 70

She was appointed as an Opposition Whip and Shadow Minister for Women while Labour was in opposition, then became Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport in 2001.

"In the end, what gives a life meaning is not only how it is lived, but how it draws to a close", she said during her speech.

Having pushed the British government to bid for the Olympics, her joy on securing the games for London was short-lived. "All of us, for longer". Her speech on the subject in the House of Lords earned her a spontaneous standing ovation.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair and soccer legend David Beckham are among her admirers offering tributes.

Former prime minister Gordon Brown said Dame Tessa would be remembered for her "courage, strength and compassion for others".

He said her impact on politics was enormous and "everything she touched turned to gold in some way, whether it was advancing equal pay for women, starting Sure Start - which is an huge programme for children in our country - or of course bringing the Olympics to Britain".

Her family announced the death in a statement.

A family spokesperson said that Dame Tessa died peacefully, and was surrounded by family.

'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, ' the statement added.

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"In addition to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, in recent months doctors tried innovative new treatments which Tessa gladly embraced, but sadly the tumour recently progressed very quickly".

There will be a small private funeral in the coming days and a memorial service open to all at a later.

Theresa May said: "Baroness Tessa Jowell faced her illness with dignity and courage - and it was a privilege to host her in Downing Street recently to discuss what more we can do to tackle brain cancer".

Sir Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK's chief executive, called it a "wonderful tribute" and said that the charity would also rename its Brain Tumour Conference in her memory.

The former Prime Minister said Jowell had convinced him to bid for the Games, telling him: "This is a country that should always have the highest ambition".

He said: "My daughter absolutely loved her to bits and she was weeping last night and she said that Tessa was the only person she's ever known who, whoever she was with, wherever she was, that other person was glad to be there".

"It was a hard enough process at the best of times, but that structure she put in place then weathered the financial crisis (of 2008) and then allowed us in the end to still deliver the Olympics on time and under budget". Tessa was not just the best in politics, she was the best in humanity. True Labour but reaching cross party.

Politicians across all parties have been paying tributes to the beloved former Labour MP all day as the announcement was made.


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