TRIBUTES have been paid to an ‘inspirational’ politician who helped stage the 2012 London Olympics.
Dame Tessa Jowell died aged 70 after a battle against cancer.
She had been diagnosed with brain cancer in May last year, suffered a haemorrhage on Friday, and had been in a coma until her death yesterday.
The Labour politician played a major role in securing the 2012 Olympics for London when she served as culture secretary.
More recently, she has campaigned for additional cancer treatments to be made available through the NHS.
She earned a minute-long standing ovation in the House of Lords in January for speaking about the issue.
Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth South MP, has paid tribute to his fellow Labour colleague.
He said: ‘Tessa Jowell was an inspirational woman and committed parliamentarian.
‘She was someone who never stopped fighting for what they believed in, and a politician who delivered some of Labour’s greatest achievements - the groundbreaking introduction of Sure Start helping millions of families across our nation and bringing the Olympics back to the UK.
‘My thoughts and prayers are with her family at this difficult time.’
Leading Tributes to Dame Jowell was former Labour leader and ex-prime minister, Tony Blair.
He told the BBC that she was a ‘committed public servant’ who was ‘always true and loyal and decent and wise’.
‘She knew she was dying and yet she was prepared to give everything she had in order to help people in the future,” Mr Blair said of her campaigning towards the end of her life.
‘If anyone wants to know what politics can achieve they can just look at her life and how she lived it, and how she ended it as a testimony to all that’s best in politics.’
A statement by her family said it was ‘with great sadness and an enormous sense of loss’ that they announced the news of her death.
She died peacefully in the family home near Shipston-on-Stour in Warwickshire shortly after 10pm last night, the statement said.
‘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,’ the statement added.
‘In addition to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, in recent months doctors tried innovative new treatments which Tessa gladly embraced, but sadly the tumour recently progressed very quickly.’