World Media

BOA pays tribute to Dame Tessa Jowell

Tessa Jowell with former PM Tony Blair and Sir Charles Allen mayor of the Olympic Athletes village during London 2012

In 2012 she was made Dame Tessa Jowell in the Birthday Honours for political and charitable services, which were partly in recognition of her work on the Olympics.

Her family announced the death in a statement.

According to a statement from her family, Jowell died peacefully at her family's home Saturday evening.

"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".

He said: "There was no-one like Tessa and no-one better".

As Culture Secretary, she convinced Blair to push for the Olympic games, which proved a person triumph for her when the bid for the 2012 games was successful.

Footballer David Beckham, who was an ambassador during the Olympic bid, posted on Instagram that "amazing woman" Dame Tessa "will be missed by so many".

In 2004, she officially launched the bid and, when the Olympic and Paralympic Games were awarded to London, she was appointed Olympics Minister and held full ministerial responsibility for the bid from 2006.

She also remained on the 2012 Olympics Organising Committee under chairman Sebastian Coe.

"But above all she wanted to see Labour in government, and when we were she took her unique style and deep personal commitment into the heart of Whitehall".

"That's why she did the debate in the Lords and the debate in the Commons and got the Government to put more money into cancer care".

During a speech in the House of Lords earlier this year, Jowell had attracted a huge standing ovation from her fellow peers.

"All of us, for longer".

Former acting Labour leader Harriet Harman said Dame Tessa was "no softie", adding: "She was clever and tough".

"I saw the forward-looking, expansive, optimistic vision of Britain that the opening ceremony represented and I thought again that this was something the bombers and their supporters would have hated - all those nations, with their different views, their different cultures, their different traditions, coming together in a spirit of peace and play", she said.

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

"The family would like to thank people for the overwhelming support Tessa and they have received since she became ill".

Former leader of the Liberal Democrats Sir Menzies Campbell, who was a member of the Olympic Board which had oversight of London 2012 said Dame Tessa was "universally popular and respected among politicians of all parties".

"Her contribution to the Olympic and Paralympic Games is easily defined - without Tessa there would have been no London 2012, and without Tessa they would not have been the success they were". "Her determination and sense of humour surrounding them was infectious".

A memorial service "open to all" is scheduled for a later date.