Tessa Jowell

The Right Honourable
The Baroness Jowell
DBE PC
Tessa Jowell Cropped.jpg
Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office
In office
20 January 2011 – 7 October 2011
LeaderEd Miliband
Preceded byLiam Byrne
Succeeded byJon Trickett
In office
11 May 2010 – 8 October 2010
LeaderHarriet Harman (acting)
Preceded byFrancis Maude
Succeeded byLiam Byrne
Shadow Minister for London
In office
11 May 2010 – 16 January 2013
Leader
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded bySadiq Khan
Shadow Minister for the Olympics
In office
11 May 2010 – 11 September 2012
Leader
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Minister for the Cabinet Office
In office
5 June 2009 – 11 May 2010
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
Preceded byLiam Byrne
Succeeded byFrancis Maude
Minister for London
In office
5 June 2009 – 11 May 2010
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
Preceded byTony McNulty
Succeeded byGavin Barwell (2016)
In office
28 June 2007 – 3 October 2008
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
Preceded byJim Fitzpatrick
Succeeded byTony McNulty
Paymaster General
In office
28 June 2007 – 11 May 2010
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
Preceded byDawn Primarolo
Succeeded byFrancis Maude
Minister for the Olympics
In office
6 July 2005 – 11 May 2010
Prime Minister
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byJeremy Hunt
Minister for Women
In office
5 May 2005 – 5 May 2006
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byPatricia Hewitt
Succeeded byRuth Kelly
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
In office
8 June 2001 – 27 June 2007
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byChris Smith
Succeeded byJames Purnell
Shadow Minister for Women
In office
19 October 1995 – 26 July 1996
LeaderTony Blair
Preceded byClare Short
Succeeded byJanet Anderson
Member of Parliament
for Dulwich and West Norwood
Dulwich (1992–1997)
In office
9 April 1992 – 30 March 2015
Preceded byGerald Bowden
Succeeded byHelen Hayes
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
27 October 2015 – 12 May 2018
Life peerage
Personal details
BornTessa Jane Helen Douglas Palmer
(1947-09-17)17 September 1947
Marylebone, London, England
Died12 May 2018(2018-05-12) (aged 70)
Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire, England[1]
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)
RelationsElla Woodward (daughter-in-law)
Children
  • 2 children
  • 3 stepchildren
Alma mater

Tessa Jane Helen Douglas Jowell, Baroness Jowell, DBE, PC (née Palmer; 17 September 1947 – 12 May 2018) was a British Labour politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Dulwich and West Norwood from 1997 to 2015, having previously been elected as the MP for Dulwich in 1992.

She held a number of major government ministerial positions, as well as opposition appointments, during this period. Her most senior position in Government was as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, a post she held from 2001 to 2007. A member of both the Blair and Brown Cabinets, she was also Minister for the Olympics (2005–10) and Shadow Minister for the Olympics and Shadow Minister for London until September 2012, resigning after the London Olympic Games.

A Privy Counsellor since 1998,[2] she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2012.[3] She stood down from the House of Commons at the 2015 general election.

She was nominated for life peerage in the 2015 Dissolution Honours and was raised to the peerage as Baroness Jowell, of Brixton in the London Borough of Lambeth, on 27 October 2015. In September 2015, she was unsuccessful in seeking to be selected as the Labour Party's official candidate in the 2016 election for Mayor of London, coming second to Sadiq Khan in the contest of six candidates.

Early life

Tessa Jane Helen Douglas Palmer was born at Middlesex Hospital[4][5] in Marylebone, London, to Dr. Kenneth Nelson Veysey Palmer,[6] a physician, and his wife, Rosemary (née Douglas),[7][8] a radiographer.[9]

She was educated at the independent St Margaret's School for Girls in Aberdeen, the University of Aberdeen (where she studied arts, psychology and sociology) and the University of Edinburgh (where she studied for an MA in Social Administration). She became a social worker, initially working in the Craigmillar area of Edinburgh and as a childcare officer in Lambeth, before training at Goldsmiths College as a psychiatric social worker. She subsequently worked at the Maudsley Hospital, and later became assistant director of the mental health charity Mind.[5]

During this time, Jowell took her first steps into electoral politics, being elected to represent Swiss Cottage on Camden London Borough Council in the early 1970s, and becoming Chair of the Camden Borough Council's Social Services Committee at the age of 25.[5] In 1978, she was the Labour Party candidate in a by-election in Ilford North but lost Labour's majority to the Conservatives. She stood again in Ilford North at the 1979 general election, also unsuccessfully.[10]

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