‘Most wise, loyal and a true friend’

Tessa Jowell
Tessa Jowell
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Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden has paid tribute to a ‘brave’ and ‘greatly loved’ politician credited with playing a key role in bringing the Olympics to this country.

He said former Labour cabinet minister Dame Tessa Jowell left behind a ‘strong legacy’.

Mr Marsden served as Dame Tessa’s parliamentary private secretary from 2003 to 2005, during her time as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

He said: “She was a very warm, very committed person. She was a remarkable politician.”

Dame Tessa had been diagnosed with a gliobastoma multiforme brain tumour in May last year.

She suffered a haemorrhage on Friday, and had been in a coma until her death on Saturday, a spokesman for the family said.

A popular figure in Parliament, Dame Tessa played a major role in securing the 2012 Olympics for London when she served as culture secretary.

Mr Marsden added: “She was extremely brave in dealing with the brain cancer that eventually took her life.

“She was greatly loved by colleagues in all parts of the House.”

Former prime minister Tony Blair called her ‘the most wise of counsellors, the most loyal and supportive of colleagues, and the best of friends’. He added: “There was no-one like Tessa and no-one better. I will miss her more than I can say.”

Commons Speaker John Bercow said: “Tessa did more than most to improve lives and promote social justice.

“Passionate, warm and empathetic, she saw the best in everyone and won respect and affection across the political spectrum.”