Published: Mon, May 14, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Dame Tessa Jowell dies aged 70 after battle with brain tumour

Dame Tessa Jowell dies aged 70 after battle with brain tumour

The former Labour cabinet minister, who was diagnosed with brain cancer in May past year, suffered a brain haemorrhage on Friday and had been in a coma until her death on Saturday.

"I hope this debate will give hope to other cancer patients like me".

The family moved to Aberdeen in the early 1950s after Kenneth Palmer got a job at the university medical school. His daughter was educated at St Margaret's School for Girls and initially harboured ambitions to be a doctor, but fell in love with history, English and botany, once remarking that aged 15 she could classify every wildflower in Aberdeenshire.

"She was an inspiration to work with, and a joy to be near".

Tessa Jowell was investigated over links between a loan she signed and a large payment to her husband.

The couple parted after it was said to be damaging Dame Tessa's career, but they were later reconciled. She stood for the Ilford North parliamentary seat in a 1978 by-election, and again in the 1979 general election, but lost both times.

Ms. Jowell, whose first marriage to Roger Jowell ended in divorce, worked initially as a social worker.

She made it to Westminster in 1992, as MP for Dulwich and West Norwood. Her father was a physician, and her mother was a radiologist.

She was often viewed as the epitome of a Blairite minister - loyal, pragmatic, well-connected and at ease with wealth and the wealthy, but driven by progressive ideals.

"She was one of the kindest, most compassionate empathetic people I've ever known".

In her speech, she urged colleagues to support the Eliminate Cancer Initiative to improve cancer survival under the NHS, which is the worst in Western Europe. She was the first senior politician fully to understand the importance of public health and to shift health policy towards prevention of illness and not only cure.

Her husband David Mills was investigated in Italy for alleged money laundering and tax fraud in 2006.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbynsaid he was devastated to hear of Dame Tessa's death.

She recently campaigned for more cancer treatments to be made available through the National Health Service.

The former cabinet minister was diagnosed with a gliobastoma multiforme brain tumour last May. Even under the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition, she remained closely associated with the preparations for 2012, becoming shadow minister for the Olympics. In 2009, he was sentenced to 4½ years in an Italian court for taking a bribe from former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi in exchange for false testimony at corruption trials.

Tessa Jowell fought for her causes she believed in to the end.

'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.

She added her campaigning on brain cancer research was "a lasting tribute to a lifetime of public service".

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