Ex-Labour cabinet minister Tessa Jowell dies

Ex-Labour cabinet minister Tessa Jowell dies”

Former Labour MP and cabinet minister David Blunkett described Dame Tessa as one of his closest friends and praised her commitment to helping families caught up in generations of disadvantage get the best start in life.

Baroness Jowell, 70, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in May past year, suffered a haemorrhage on Friday, and had been in a coma until her death on Saturday her family said.

She convinced many unsure colleagues about the merits of bidding for the 2012 Olympics.

He added: "And even after she was diagnosed with cancer, she typically used it as an opportunity to campaign for improved research and treatment to help other sufferers".

In January, Dame Tessa was given a minute-long standing ovation in the House of Lords for speaking about the issue. In 2008, after the Great Recession struck, costing thousands of jobs, she said: "Had we known what we know now, would we have bid for the Olympics?"

Prime Minister Theresa May said: "The dignity and courage with which Dame Tessa Jowell confronted her illness was humbling and it was inspirational". I had the pleasure to work with her on the London Olympics - she was not just a dedicated & passionate campaigner, but a wonderful human being.

Dame Tessa, who was 70, was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme brain tumour in May a year ago, suffered a haemorrhage on Friday, and had been in a coma until her death on Saturday, a spokesman for the family said. "My heartfelt condolences to her family & friends".

Lord Sebastian Coe, former chairman of the London Organising Committee, said there would not have been a London 2012 without her. "She showed unflinching tenacity in persuading the Prime Minister and the Cabinet that the Government should throw its full weight behind the bid".

Footballer David Beckham, who was an ambassador during the Olympic bid, posted on Instagram that "amazing woman" Dame Tessa "will be missed by so many".

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"She brought the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics to London, and ensured their success".

Elsewhere, tributes have flooded in from Dame Tessa's colleagues in Westminster. "Her dedication to public service should be an inspiration to all who would follow her into parliament".

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 stood to be Labour's candidate for mayor of London in 2016 but lost out to Sadiq Khan.

And other MPs talked about the sadness they felt on hearing of her death.

Jowell, who was 70, was diagnosed with brain cancer in May previous year. I will remember her warmth, her passion, her goodness her decency.

Dame Tessa will be remembered at Westminster as someone who managed to be ideologically committed to her cause without overt sectarian bitterness.

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. Tessa Jowell, the former United Kingdom culture secretary who played a key role in securing the 2012 London Olympics, has died.

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