North West politicians pay tribute to Tessa Jowell

Pauline Gross
May 14, 2018

Described by the Jewish Labour Movement as "building an everlasting bond with the Jewish community" during her time as a Parliamentary candidate for Ilford North and then as an MP and Cabinet Minister, she appeared at various Jewish community events, guest speaking at dinners and fundraisers.

In recent months, she moved fellow peers in the House of Lords to tears as she discussed her condition and called for patients to have better access to experimental treatment.

Former acting Labour leader Harriet Harman said Dame Tessa was "no softie", adding: "She was clever and tough".

Mrs May wrote: "The dignity and courage with which Dame Tessa Jowell confronted her illness was humbling and it was inspirational".

She was diagnosed with brain cancer last May, and subsequently campaigned for cancer research.

She played the pivotal role in gathering, and maintaining government support for a bid and subsequently putting in place the structures necessary to deliver The Games. "She more than anyone made the dream of bringing the Olympics and Paralympics to London a reality, fighting hard around the cabinet table to make it happen".

She recently campaigned for more cancer treatments to be made available through the National Health Service. "Throughout her illness she behaved with quite remarkable courage".

James Brokenshire, who stepped down as Northern Ireland secretary after being diagnosed with lung cancer, said Dame Tessa had "unstinting passion". She was an inspiration to work with, and a joy to be near.

"She was the most wise of counsellors, the most loyal and supportive of colleagues, and the best of friends", he said.

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

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His successor David Cameron said he was "devastated" to hear of the death of the "dedicated and passionate campaigner" and "wonderful human being". "Our thoughts are with her family".

"In the end, what gives a life meaning is not only how it is lived, but how it draws to a close", she said in January, with a shawl around her shoulders and her head covered by a skullcap.

So there we are - me and the former Olympics Minister - going in circles at 6am in an empty park as I tried desperately to remember the way. The world is a sadder place without Tessa.

She was pro-European and in favour of a mixed-economy when both were deeply unfashionable on the left.

Sarah Lindsell, CEO of the Brain Tumour Charity, said the charity had started working with "wonderful ambassador" Dame Tessa towards the end of previous year, and she praised her campaigning for cancer patients.

Cllr Peter John tweeted: "Following the sad death of Dame Tessa Jowell, who served as constituency MP for Dulwich & West Norwood between 1992 and 2015, Lambeth and Southwark Councils are opening books of condolence at their respective Town Halls".

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

"No politician deserves greater credit for the Games". She showed unflinching tenacity in persuading the Prime Minister and the Cabinet that the Government should throw its full weight behind the bid.

"And long after the Games were over, Tessa continued to fight for their legacy. Without her the sporting landscape of the United Kingdom would have looked very different", said Lord Coe. "I will miss her enormously".

Ashford MP Damian Green told Kent Online: "Tessa Jowell was one of the few politicians who had respect, admiration and friendship from all sides in the House of Commons. Her determination and sense of humour surrounding them was infectious".

Other reports by GizPress

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