London 2012 Olympics chief Tessa Jowell dies aged 70


The Health Secretary described the former culture secretary as a "believer in the magical potential of life".

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair led the tributes to Jowell, saying she had "passion, determination and simple human decency in greater measure than any person I have ever known".

The ex-Labour culture secretary, who had been diagnosed with a brain tumour in May past year, suffered a haemorrhage on Friday.

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

"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 read.

"Despite going through all of that and wanting to spend precious time with her family. she gave up so much of that time to continue to campaign, to ask for change, because it really matters", she told the BBC.

During her time in office, she was in charge of London's successful bid to host the 2012 Olympics and more recently had campaigned for more cancer treatments to be made available through the NHS.

Though losing her Cabinet post in Gordon Brown's 2007 reshuffle she remained Olympic minister and oversaw every stage of the games from initial bid to competition.

"In 1980s local government, Tessa in Camden and myself in Sheffield, we helped to promote an alternative to Old Labour on the one hand and the far left on the other", said the former home secretary.

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They 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".

The statement thanked people for the "overwhelming support" they had shown Dame Tessa and her family, since her diagnosis was revealed.

Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May said: "The dignity and courage with which Dame Tessa Jowell confronted her illness was humbling and inspirational".

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn praised her "huge achievements" and her "strength in raising awareness of her illness". "Her dedication to public service should be an inspiration to all who would follow her into parliament".

"In the end, what gives a life meaning is not only how it is lived, but how it draws to a close", she said during her speech.

"Her contribution to the Olympic and Paralympic Games is easily defined - quite simply, without Tessa there would have been no London 2012, and without Tessa they would not have been the success they were". Tessa was the warmest and kindest.

She later stood to be Labour's candidate for mayor of London in 2016 but lost out to Sadiq Khan. "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".

The former cabinet minister was diagnosed with a gliobastoma multiforme brain tumour last May.