Britain's ex-minister, campaigner Tessa Jowell dies of cancer

Dame Tessa Jowell: Powerful moment Ex-Labour MP delivered speech on cancer diagnosis

Dame Tessa Jowell: Powerful moment Ex-Labour MP delivered speech on cancer diagnosis

Jowell, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor previous year, remained a member of the House of Lords and used the platform to call for better access to medical care.

"I hope that the actions we are taking now and in the future to improve care and research for those confronting a awful disease will form part of the lasting legacy of an inspirational woman", she said.

And other MPs talked about the sadness they felt on hearing of her death. Her speech on the subject in the House of Lords earned her a spontaneous standing ovation.

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

There will be a small private funeral in the coming days and a memorial service open to all at a later.

"She showed unflinching tenacity in persuading the prime minister and the cabinet that the government should throw its full weight behind the bid", he said.

"My aim is to boost research into treatments - even cures - for brain cancer and transform care for patients in the way that Tessa called for", he said.

She was appointed Olympics Minister after London was awarded the Games in 2005 and remained a member of the 2012 Olympics Organising Committee after Labour lost office in 2010.

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"It was a hard enough process at the best of times, but that structure she put in place then weathered the financial crisis (of 2008) and then allowed us in the end to still deliver the Olympics on time and under budget".

Former prime minister Gordon Brown said Dame Tessa would be remembered for her "courage, strength and compassion for others".

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

Sir Roger Gale, MP for North Thanet, said Dame Tessa "epitomised the capacity to put party-politics to one side" and spoke of her many friends from across the political spectrum.

"She was always polite and helpful as a Minister, and she left a real legacy with her part in the 2012 Olympics". 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.

Four-time Olympic gold medal-winning rower Matthew Pinsent said: "RIP Tessa Jowell - absolutely central to the effort to win and stage the Olympics and Paralympics in 2012".

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

The Prime Minister and leader of the opposition led the tributes to the much-respected Labour stalwart, who had served in the south of the borough from 1992, first as MP for Dulwich and then for Dulwich and West Norwood.

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