Dame Tessa Jowell dies aged 70

Dame Tessa Jowel Alistair Campbell

Dame Tessa Jowel Alistair Campbell

LONDON (AP) - Tessa Jowell, the former United Kingdom culture secretary who played a key role in securing the 2012 London Olympics and used her own cancer diagnosis to campaign for better treatment, has died.

Dame Tessa, who was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017, died on Saturday aged 70 following a haemorrhage.

The former cabinet minister died at home on Saturday evening after being diagnosed with a brain tumour a year ago.

"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".

Her speech on the subject in the House of Lords earned her a spontaneous standing ovation.

"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 skullcap.

Sarah Lindsell, the chief executive of the Brain Tumour Charity, said: "Tessa Jowell's courage and honesty in speaking about her brain tumour diagnosis, coupled with her fierce determination to improve the lives of others affected by the disease, has already brought hope to an often-forgotten community of patient and families".

"All of us, for longer".

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.

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

Coe, who is now President of the International Association of Athletics Federations, said London 2012 would not have happened without Dame Tessa.

Dame Tessa was appointed Deputy Mayor of the Olympic Village in recognition for her efforts in getting London the Games.

Sarah Lindsell, CEO of the Brain Tumour Charity, said the charity had started working with "wonderful ambassador" Dame Tessa towards the end of a year ago, and she praised her campaigning for cancer patients.

"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".

Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair's former Downing Street press secretary paid tribute on Twitter, saying: "RIP Tessa, wonderful woman, superb politician, the kindest friend". She was elected to the House of Commons in 1992, representing the Dulwich area of London, and held office until 2015.

She was also instrumental in London's successful bid for the 2012 Olympic Games. True Labour but reaching cross party.

David Cameron shared a picture of himself and Dame Tessa recreating the Beatles' Abbey Road cover, writing: "Devastated that Tessa Jowell has passed away after her incredibly fearless fight".

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

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