Pat McFadden pays tribute to 'special' Tessa Jowell - WATCH

By Pete Madeley | Politics | Published:

Tessa Jowell was 'a very special person and a very special politician', Pat McFadden has said, as the Commons paid tribute to the late Labour politician and cancer campaigner.

Labour MP Pat McFadden

In an emotional tribute, the Wolverhampton South East MP described Baroness Jowell as 'full of love' and hailed her as a 'change-maker and a moderniser.

Dame Tessa, who was diagnosed with brain cancer in May last year, died aged 70 on Saturday having suffered a brain haemorrhage the previous day.

In a tribute to the life of the former Cabinet minister and Labour MP for Dulwich, Theresa May announced that investment in research into tackling brain cancer is to be doubled to £40 million.

WATCH Pat McFadden pay tribute in the Commons:

Pat McFadden pays tribute to Tessa Jowell

Addressing a solemn House of Commons on Monday, Mr McFadden said: "Tessa Jowell was both a very special person and a very special politician.

"And the qualities of one reinforce the brilliance of the other. She was the best friend that anyone could wish for. Loyal, true, uplifting and empathetic.

"There are many people inside this House and outside it, who when they found themselves at a low ebb, would know that Tessa was there for them, holding out love and support.


"Never your judge and jury, always your friend and shelter in a storm. She was quite simply, full of love. Full of love for her family, her friends, and the causes she believed in."

He added: "As a politician she was a change-maker, a moderniser. Her mission was not to preserve Britain, or to seek illusory solace in nostalgia, but to change it for the better, and always in a progressive direction.

"Sure Start, the mission to give every child, no matter what their background, the best possible start in life. Not just a government programme, but for her a symbol of what she believed the United Kingdom should stand for.

"For the London Olympics, she not only played a vital role in winning the bid, but she helped to shape the character of what for many of us, was the greatest moment of Britishness and coming together of the country in our lifetimes.


"She understood more than anyone, that how we hosted the games was as important as what happened in the competition itself.

"She gave us our golden summer. She gave the country our united golden moment. Her love and empathy were there for the families of the victims of terrorism in 9-11, and the 7-7 underground bombings.

"There was Tessa, full of love and a desire to help. The human embodiment of the total antithesis of the hatred which had caused those people their grief.

"And in her final illness she was determined not to go quietly into that good night.

"She fought for better treatment for cancer sufferers, for international collaboration on how to treat the disease... and used all her firmness and charm to ensure that ministers backed their words of support with the very welcome new resources for cancer research.

"She was both proud of what she had achieved and immensely grateful of having had the opportunity to achieve it.

"She was thankful for the era that she lived through, the modernising movement for progressive change and social justice, of which she was such a vital and brilliant part."

Mr McFadden added: "At a time when there is so much that divides the country, and when demonisation of others is all too readily reached for and transmitted in the world of politics, we should remember that Tessa Jowell represented the opposite of all of that.

"So let us give thanks, and remember her not only for the wonderful things that she did, but for the way that she did them, and for the many lives that she changed for the better along the way."

Pete Madeley

By Pete Madeley

Political Editor for the Express & Star. Responsible for local and national political stories, opinion, comment and analysis.


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