BOA pays tribute to Dame Tessa Jowell

Erika Holt
May 14, 2018

Former UK Labour party Cabinet minister Tessa Jowell has died aged 70 from cancer.

Former acting leader of the Labour Party Harriet Harman, who lived in Dame Tessa's constituency and represents neighbouring seat Camberwell and Peckham, celebrated Dame Tessa's politics of "smiling not shouting".

Despite being moved from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in 2007, she retained her position as Olympics Minister throughout Labour's time in office. She later said she often thought about July 7, but particularly during the two-minute silence at the London Games' opening ceremony directed by Danny Boyle. The 23-year-old had expected to lose in the new Swiss Cottage ward, but unexpectedly topped the ballot and at just 25, she became Camden's Chair of Social Services.

Our Chief Executive Sue Farrington Smith MBE commented on the loss of this remarkable woman: "It was an honour to meet Tessa - a passionate and caring lady who thought only of the wider cancer community whilst influencing the Government and others to make a real difference and, in her own words, "make hope actionable" in speeding up treatments to find a cure for this most devastating of diseases".

She also remained on the 2012 Olympics Organising Committee under chairman Sebastian Coe. London finally won the vote in July 2005.

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?"

Three years later, after stepping down from the Commons at the 2015 general election, she was made Baroness Jowell of Brixton.

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She recalled those special days shared with her huge family - grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and of course, her mom. You are mom enough. "She put some water into the dog's dish, put the cat outside, and made sure the doors were locked".

In 2004, she officially launched the bid and, when the Olympic and Paralympic Games were awarded to London, she was appointed Olympics Minister and held full ministerial responsibility for the bid from 2006.

Mr Mills was charged along with Mr Berlusconi with corruption in Milan and was convicted in his absence in February 2009, before being acquitted by the Italian Supreme Court under Italy's statute of limitations a year later.

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

The speed of her late physical decline was dramatic.

She had been in a coma since Friday, after suffering a haemorrhage. 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.

"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 skull cap.

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