Trib­utes paid to in­spir­ing politi­cian

The Week - Junior - - Front Page -

Politi­cians have paid trib­ute to Dame Tessa Jow­ell, who passed away on 12 May. Jow­ell served as a Labour Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment for more than 20 years.

One of Jow­ell’s great­est suc­cesses was Sure

Start, a Gov­ern­ment pro­gramme that gives sup­port to par­ents and their chil­dren un­der the age of four. It aims to help par­ents give chil­dren the best start in life. As part of Sure Start, 3,500 chil­dren’s cen­tres were cre­ated across the UK. Jow­ell said she was “very proud” of set­ting up the scheme, as she be­lieved the first three years in a child’s life are crit­i­cally im­por­tant.

An­other high point of her po­lit­i­cal ca­reer was help­ing to bring the Olympic Games to Lon­don in 2012. Her depart­ment was re­spon­si­ble for win­ning the right to hold the games and then for putting them on. Team GB fin­ished third in the medal ta­ble, win­ning 65 medals, in­clud­ing 29 golds. Andy Hunt, the for­mer Bri­tish Olympics As­so­ci­a­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive, de­scribed it as the “great­est per­for­mance of our great­est team at the great­est Olympics ever”.

In May 2017, Jow­ell was di­ag­nosed with a rare form of brain can­cer. She spent the last months of her life cam­paign­ing for bet­ter can­cer treat­ment across the UK and for bet­ter tests to be in­tro­duced. Dur­ing a speech about brain-can­cer treat­ment in the House of Lords a few months ago, she was given a stand­ing ova­tion (when an au­di­ence stands up to ap­plaud a per­son or per­for­mance).

For­mer Prime Min­is­ter Tony Blair, who worked with Jow­ell in gov­ern­ment, said, “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.”

Shortly af­ter Jow­ell passed away, Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May an­nounced she was dou­bling the fund­ing for brain can­cer and launch­ing a new test across the UK. May said it would be “a last­ing legacy” for Jow­ell, whom she de­scribed as “in­spi­ra­tional”.

Jow­ell was an MP for more than 20 years.

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