The UK needs more of the “kinder” politics that was the trademark of the late Tessa Jowell, says Kent’s only Labour MP.
Canterbury and Whitstable’s Rosie Duffield paid tribute to Dame Tessa, whose death from cancer at the age of 70 was announced by her family yesterday.
Dame Tessa was diagnosed with brain cancer in May last year and suffered a haemorrhage on Friday, falling into a coma until her death on Saturday.
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The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport from 2001 to 2007, she is credited with a major role in bringing the 2012 Olympics to London.
Ms Duffield said: “Tessa’s lasting legacy is not just that she was an inspiration woman to many in the Labour movement, but she also leaves behind a lifetime of public service which brought about the 2012 Olympics, stronger maternity rights, Surestart centres and her last big fight for better universal cancer care.
“She was kind, approachable and popular across the house.
“Her ability to work with those of different political persuasions is a mark of a kinder sort of politics, of which there should be more.
“She will be very much missed by all who were lucky enough to know her.”
Dame Tessa was a key member of Tony Blair’s government.
The former Prime Minister said: “She knew she was dying.
“Yet she was prepared to give everything she had in order to help people in the future.
“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.”
Sarah Lindsell, chief executive officer, of the Brain Tumour Charity, described Dame Tessa as a “wonderful ambassador” for its work.