• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Olympics Minister to quit politics after 25 years

The minister who helped London win the 2012 Olympics is to retire as an MP at the general election after almost 25 years.

Dame Tessa Jowell, who served in Tony Blair and Gordon Brown's Cabinets and as culture secretary played a central role in bringing the game to the UK is not seeking re-election in 2015.

The Dulwich and West Norwood MP stepped down from the Shadow Cabinet last year after seeing the hugely-successful Games through to their closing ceremony as shadow Olympics minister.

Dame Tessa, who was first elected to represent the south London area in 1992, said in a latter to her constituency party stepping down was "the hardest decision I have ever taken" but that it was time to "give somebody else the chance to take the next steps forward".

Mr Blair said that, as well as being an able and determined politician, she was "kind, decent and loyal in a way I have seldom seen in politics" and had a "rare integrity".

There were also tributes from British Olympic Association chairman Lord Sebastian Coe, who said she was the "political driving force" behind the 2012 bid and "an inseparable part of their ultimate success".

As a minister she also set up the Sure Start children's centre programme and was made a Dame last year for services to both politics and charity.

Labour leader Ed Miliband - whom Dame Tessa informed of her decision last week - said that, while the Olympics would be her "greatest legacy", she was a "unique politician" of warmth, spirit, loyalty and generosity.

"You have set a very high bar for whoever is chosen by the local party to succeed you and fight for the seat at the general election," he told her in a letter.

mf

The Labour stalwart, who served in Tony Blair and Gordon Brown's Cabinets and as culture secretary played a central role in bringing the 2012 Olympics to London, is not seeking re-election in 2015.

The Dulwich and West Norwood MP stepped down from the Shadow Cabinet last year after seeing the hugely-successful Games through to their closing ceremony as shadow Olympics minister.

Dame Tessa, who was first elected to represent the south London area in 1992, said in a latter to her constituency party stepping down was "the hardest decision I have ever taken" but that it was time to "give somebody else the chance to take the next steps forward".

Mr Blair said that, as well as being an able and determined politician, she was "kind, decent and loyal in a way I have seldom seen in politics" and had a "rare integrity".

There were also tributes from British Olympic Association chairman Lord Sebastian Coe, who said she was the "political driving force" behind the 2012 bid and "an inseparable part of their ultimate success".

As a minister she also set up the Sure Start children's centre programme and was made a Dame last year for services to both politics and charity.

Labour leader Ed Miliband - whom Dame Tessa informed of her decision last week - said that, while the Olympics would be her "greatest legacy", she was a "unique politician" of warmth, spirit, loyalty and generosity.

"You have set a very high bar for whoever is chosen by the local party to succeed you and fight for the seat at the general election," he told her in a letter.

mf

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

195364