Dame Tessa Jowell

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IWF UK is deeply saddened by the death of Dame Tessa Jowell, a remarkable and compassionate politician who was until recently a long-standing member.

Julie Goldstein, Chair of IWF UK, paid tribute to Dame Tessa's extraordinary life and achievements. "Tessa believed strongly in public service and campaigned tirelessly for the rights of others," she said. "Many of us were fortunate to know her as a friend, and those who met her, even briefly, were touched by her humanity and passion for her many causes. Among these were her work to advance equal pay for women, and her role in establishing the Sure Start programme for pre-school children, as well as the high-profile 2012 Olympic bid. Her many friends at IWF UK join together to send our deepest condolences to her family."

We have received many tributes to Tessa from her friends at IWF UK, including the following:

'Tessa was a remarkable and inspiring woman with quite astounding courage and an overwhelming commitment to public service and her calling. Our world is poorer without her'. Oonagh Harpur

'Tessa was a dear friend and one of the kindest people I have ever met. We are all poorer today with her passing away. However she leaves an incredible legacy and we are all so blessed to have had the good fortune of having her in our lives.' Pinky Lilani CBE DL

'It is an awful loss. The country is worse off without her warm, compassionate and calming presence in the world of politics and we are worse off without her fun and wonderful humour.' Liz Padmore

'What sad news. I have known Tessa since the 1980s when she was working with MIND. She and I were both involved in a Camden charity for people with alcohol problems. I then saw her often when she was in Parliament both before and after the 1997 election, as we worked together on many health issues. She never changed her deeply held views about fairness and equity. How sad for her family and how sad for all of us who valued her as a friend and for the many people whose cause she always championed when others forgot.' Christine Hancock