Tessa Jowell was an 'extraordinary politician and incredible human being'

Dame Tessa Jowell speaking in the House of Lords

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

Helen Hayes, who succeeded Jowell as the Labour MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, said she hoped her family would take great comfort from knowing how many lives she had touched in the south London constituency.

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

Announcing her death, a statement from her family said: "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".

'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'.

"I will certainly never forget it - neither the day itself nor the days afterwards".

Sir Menzies Campbell, the former Liberal Democrat leader and member of the Olympic Board that had oversight of London 2012, said Jowell was "regarded with both admiration and affection".

Dani King, Joanna Rowsell, Laura Trott (Cycling, Team Pursuit) - Rowsell and Trott are still in the picture and won gold at the European Championships.

He said: "My daughter absolutely loved her to bits and she was weeping last night and she said that Tessa was the only person she's ever known who, whoever she was with, wherever she was, that other person was glad to be there".

The former social worker lost to her Conservative rival, and was defeated again in the following year's general election.

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He added: "She was the most wise of counsellors, the most loyal and supportive of colleagues, and the best of friends".

"What she achieved was remarkable". In politics, Blair applauded her understanding of public health and the need "to shift health policy towards prevention of illness and not only cure". "Her focus on her children and stepchildren was the impetus for her putting parenting support at the heart of Sure Start children's centres".

"My sympathies to her loving family - Dame Tessa's campaigning on brain cancer research is a lasting tribute to a lifetime of public service".

Elsewhere, former acting Labour Leader Harriet Harman described Dame Tessa as "no softie", saying: "Tessa was my MP neighbour for 23 years, always courteous and polite with local agencies, hospitals and schools".

He wrote on Twitter: "From Councillor to Cabinet Minister, her achievements were huge, including helping to bring the Olympics to London".

"Her strength in raising awareness of her illness and fighting for better treatment for others inspired us all".

"In the end, what gives a life meaning is not only how it is lived, but how it draws to a close", she said.

Chairman of the British Olympic Association Hugh Robertson explained that not only was Dame Tessa pivotal in bringing the Games to London, she was determined that it should be a force for regeneration in some of London's most deprived areas.

"No politician deserves greater credit for the Games". She was one of just a few politicians to serve as a Cabinet member for the full terms of Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

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