Dame Tessa Jowell has brain cancer, family says

Dame Tessa Jowell.
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Dame Jowell was a key figure in London’s bid for the 2012 Olympics

Former Olympics Minister Dame Tessa Jowell has been diagnosed with brain cancer, her family have revealed.

Her daughter-in-law Ella Woodward posted on social media that the Labour peer was diagnosed in May.

Writing on Dame Jowell’s 70th birthday, she described the last few months as “some of the hardest of our lives”.

The politician, who stood down as an MP in 2015, responded by tweeting her thanks for the “love and support” she had been shown.

Ms Woodward, a food blogger who is married to the politician’s son Matt Mills, wrote on Instagram: “Matt’s Mum was suddenly diagnosed with brain cancer in May.

“Her bravery, optimism, love and support for others during this process has inspired us both so much, and today we’re all pledging to try and do everything we can to make people’s lives with cancer better for longer.

“I’m sure so many of you have had to deal with this process too, and Matt and I will work to find new ways of supporting and enhancing people’s lives who have been affected.”


Tessa Jowell’s career

  • First elected to parliament in 1992
  • She was culture secretary from 2001 until 2007 and later served as paymaster general
  • Served under Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair and his successor Gordon Brown and was known during her time in government as one of Mr Blair’s most ardent supporters
  • Was made a Dame in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2012
  • Stood down as an MP at the 2015 general election

Sarah Lindsell, chief executive of The Brain Tumour Charity, said: “Our hearts go out to Tessa Jowell and her family after being diagnosed with a high grade brain tumour.

“And we applaud her pledge on her 70th birthday to help people whose lives are turned upside down by this devastating disease.”

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