World News

BOA pays tribute to Dame Tessa Jowell

BOA pays tribute to Dame Tessa Jowell

Jowell, who played a prominent role in securing the 2012 Olympics for London when she served as United Kingdom culture secretary, had been campaigning for more cancer treatments to be made available on the state-funded National Health Service (NHS) since she was diagnosed a year ago.

She was one of just a few politicians to serve as a Cabinet member for the full terms of Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

Dame Tessa Jowell, a former UK Minister for the Olympics, who helped pave the way for London 2012, has died aged 70.

"She was an inspiration to work with, and a joy to be near". I will miss her more than I can say.

"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".

"She absolutely believed in sport as an agent for social change - as a means for bettering people's lives and for the good it could do for people", he told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek.

"That's why she did the debate in the Lords and the debate in the Commons and got the Government to put more money into cancer care". She lost to her Conservative rival and was defeated again the following year.

She died peacefully at the family home near Shipston-on-Stour in Warwickshire shortly after 22:00 BST on Saturday, the statement said.

"The thoughts of the whole British Olympic family are with her family at this hard time".

Tessa Jowell with Olympic Gamesmakers at a rally to honour Team GB athletes in October 2012
Tessa Jowell with Olympic Gamesmakers at a rally to honour Team GB athletes in October 2012

"I can't think of many parliamentarians who would have had the response that she had whilst still alive. Her passionate support for more flexible clinical trials for brain tumour patients, and for global data-sharing to improve understanding of the disease, will have a real and lasting impact in our quest for a cure".

Theresa May, the current British Prime Minister, said the dignity and courage with which Dame Tessa confronted her illness was "humbling" and "inspirational".

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

"She was universally popular and respected among politicians of all parties", he added.

"Before the 1997 Labour victory, we worked on a programme to nurture children from the moment of their birth, but crucially also to work with parents and the wider community to transform the lives of those otherwise caught in intergenerational disadvantage". "Her determination and sense of humour surrounding them was infectious".

Her successor in Dulwich, Helen Hayes MP, tweeted: "So very sad at the passing of my friend & predecessor Tessa Jowell who served Dulwich & West Norwood for 23 years".

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt described Dame Tessa as "the bravest and the best" and said she "brought magic to whatever she touched".

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 vast programme for children in our country - or of course bringing the Olympics to Britain".

He told the Press Association: "She did two things which were really important in that early stage".





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