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Dame Tessa was regarded as having played a pivotal role in securing the 2012 Olympics for London when she served as culture secretary, before taking on the role of Minister for the Olympics and Minister for London.

"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".

Theresa May, the current British Prime Minister, said the dignity and courage with which Dame Tessa confronted her illness was "humbling" and "inspirational".

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

Though losing her Cabinet post in Gordon Brown's 2007 reshuffle she remained Olympic minister and oversaw every stage of the games from initial bid to competition.

Dame Tessa was appointed Deputy Mayor of the Olympic Village in recognition for her efforts in getting London the Games. When her teenage son's girlfriend Amelia Ward died in an accident in 2001, she cancelled all ministerial engagements to support him and the Ward family.

"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".

Her strength of character was very much in evidence after her diagnosis in May 2017 with a brain tumour, to which she responded with characteristic drive and determination, campaigning for NHS brain cancer patients to be given more treatment options.

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Former prime minister David Cameron tweeted: "Devastated that Tessa Jowell has passed away after her incredibly courageous fight".

Elsewhere, tributes have flooded in from Dame Tessa's colleagues in Westminster.

The leader of the Labour party Jeemy Corbyn said her fight to raise awareness of cancer "inspired us all".

Coe, who is now President of the International Association of Athletics Federations, said London 2012 would not have happened without Dame Tessa. "We were celebrating having won the Olympic bid when my private secretary received a call from London to be told that there might have been a terrorist attack on the Tube network. Deepest condolences to her family". Her belief that Labour should "modernise" was passionately held - forged at the coal face of a decade of Labour local activism.

Keith Chegwin, Emma Chambers, Seah Hughes and Petter Sallis were some of the other names remembered during the segment, who have all been lost within the previous year.

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".

Having previously been honoured with a damehood, she was appointed to the Lords and became Baroness Jowell of Brixton.

David Cameron shared a picture of himself and Dame Tessa recreating the Beatles' Abbey Road cover, writing: "Devastated that Tessa Jowell has passed away after her incredibly courageous fight".