'Olympic Games' minister Jowell dies at 70

Tessa Jowell with former PM Tony Blair and Sir Charles Allen mayor of the Olympic Athletes village during London 2012

Tessa Jowell, the minister who played a key role in securing and delivering the, has died after battling brain cancer, her family said Sunday.

Dame Tessa, who was diagnosed with brain cancer in May past year, suffered a haemorrhage on Friday (May 11) and had been in a coma until her death yesterday.

In her speech, she urged colleagues to support the Eliminate Cancer Initiative to improve cancer survival under the NHS, which is the worst in Western Europe.

She recently campaigned for more cancer treatments to be made available through the National Health Service.

The heartfelt intervention in January sparked a rare tribute from peers who rose to offer her a standing ovation.

"What she achieved was remarkable", he said of her career in government.

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".

"The dignity and courage with which Dame Tessa Jowell confronted her illness was humbling and it was inspirational", the prime minister said on Twitter.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair described Dame Tessa as "an inspiration to work with, and a joy to be near".

His successor David Cameron said he was "devastated" to hear of the death of the "dedicated and passionate campaigner" and "wonderful human being".


The former cabinet minister was diagnosed with a gliobastoma multiforme brain tumour last May. I will miss her more than I can say.

Blair appointed her to the cabinet in 2001 as Minister for Culture, Media and Sport, where she headed London's successful Olympic Games bid.

Lord Sebastian Coe, president of the IAAF and former chairman of the London organising committee of the Olympic Games, said London 2012 would not have happened without Dame Tessa.

She split from her lawyer husband David Mills in 2006 when she admitted being unaware he had paid off part of their mortgage with £350,000 at the centre of a bribery case involving former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

The leader of the Labour party Jeemy Corbyn said her fight to raise awareness of cancer "inspired us all".

" Although she was a London-centric MP, Tessa always took the trouble to talk to all her Labour MP colleagues to find out what was going on outside London".

The family announced the death "with great sadness, and an enormous sense of loss".

James Brokenshire, who stepped down as Northern Ireland secretary after being diagnosed with lung cancer, said Dame Tessa had "unstinting passion". And because everything she said or did was intertwined with the personal, she was more effective.

She made it to Westminster in 1992, as MP for Dulwich and West Norwood.

In 1997 she was one of the 101 female Labour MPs on the Government benches following the party's landslide victory who were dubbed, in less self-aware times, the "Blair Babes".

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