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Media captionDame Tessa Jowell: From social worker to London 2012

Tributes have poured in from across the political spectrum for ex-Labour cabinet minister Dame Tessa Jowell, who has died aged 70.

Dame Tessa, who played a major role in securing the 2012 London Olympics, was diagnosed with brain cancer in May last year and died on Saturday.

Ex-PM Tony Blair said she left an “enormous” legacy as “everything she touched turned to gold in some way”.

He and others praised the campaigning she did for more NHS cancer treatments.

Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, said she was a “remarkable woman” who had sounded a “national call to arms” about the need to spend more on researching the causes of brain cancer.

“She leaves a deep legacy with the potential to benefit many thousands of other cancer patients long into the future,” he said.

Dame Tessa earned a minute-long standing ovation in the House of Lords in January for speaking about her condition.

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Media captionTessa Jowell gets a minute-long standing ovation in the House of Lords

Leading the tributes to Dame Tessa, Mr Blair said she was a “committed public servant” who was “always true and loyal and decent and wise”.

“She knew she was dying and 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.”

He said her impact on politics was “enormous”, adding that “everything she touched turned to gold in some way, whether it was advancing equal pay for women, starting Sure Start – which is an immense programme for children in our country – or of course bringing the Olympics to Britain”.

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Media captionTony Blair: Dame Tessa ‘convinced me to make Olympic bid’

Prime Minister Theresa May said the dignity and courage with which Dame Tessa had confronted her illness was “humbling” and “inspirational”, and her campaigning was a “lasting tribute to a lifetime of public service”.

Former prime minister Gordon Brown said Dame Tessa would be remembered for her “courage, strength and compassion for others”.

His successor David Cameron said he was “devastated” to hear of the death of the “dedicated and passionate campaigner” and “wonderful human being”.

Sarah Lindsell, CEO of the Brain Tumour Charity, said the charity had started working with “wonderful ambassador” Dame Tessa towards the end of last year, and she praised her campaigning for cancer patients.

“Despite going through all of that and wanting to spend precious time with her family… she gave up so much of that time to continue to campaign, to ask for change, because it really matters,” she told the BBC.

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Media captionTessa Jowell opens up about living with brain cancer

Figures from the world of sport praised her involvement as culture secretary in bringing the Olympic Games to London.

Lord Sebastian Coe, president of the IAAF and former chairman of the London organising committee of the Olympic Games, said London 2012 would not have happened without Dame Tessa.

“She showed unflinching tenacity in persuading the prime minister and the cabinet that the government should throw its full weight behind the bid,” he said.

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”.

Four-time gold medal winning rower Sir Matthew Pinsent also paid tribute to Dame Tessa’s determination to bring the Olympic Games to London.

Source: BBC