Mayor of Lambeth Cllr Christopher Wellbelove with Tessa Jowell during his previous Mayoral year when Tessa delivered the Dean lecture at Goldsmiths College October 2009
Tributes were paid to Dame Tessa Jowell, former Labour MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, at Wednesday night’s full meeting of Lambeth council.
The Mayor, Cllr Christopher Wellbelove, recalled how he had first met Tessa Jowell in 2006 when, despite not being the local MP, she came to support us on a number of occasions.
“I’ve no doubt that I would not be sitting here today if it was not for her support.
“No matter how busy she was – as minister, MP – she gave her time freely. “It was always a pleasure to see her while on mayoral duties in her constituency. “From me, personally: Thank You.”
Council leader Cllr Lib Peck spoke of Tessa Jowell’s tremendous courage in battling her brain cancer, paying tribute to her courage and campaigning in the last six months of her life.
She highlighted how Tessa Jowell made sure the 2012 London Olympics happened, her support for the NHS and how she had been a strong advocate for the West Norwood leisure centre.
“Getting things done was Tessa’s mantra. “Loyalty and teamwork was the way she encouraged others.”
Former council leader Cllr Jim Dickson (Lab Herne Hill) said the tribute from local residents over the last few months would be the tribute Tessa would want.
Cllr Tim Briggs (Con, Clapham Common), on behalf of Conservatives, said he concurred with Labour colleagues.
“She had enormous integrity. “She would have made a wonderful Mayor of London. “She was a doer, not a bluffer – someone who got stuff done.
“She wanted to change things and I’m extremely sorry for her passing.”
Cllr Becca Thackray (Green) said Tessa Jowell was “well-mannered and kind.” Recalling how her final campaign had led to her final diagnosis “her passing reminds us to do the best we can while still alive, to do our best to communicate with fellow travellers” added Cllr Thackray.
Newly-elected Cllr Dr Mahamed Hashi (Lab Stockwell) said Tessa Jowell had introduced her to the idea of politicians actually being human.
“She helped us set up the Brixton Signature. “She never once asked us for anything. “That’s something I want to take forward in my position here.”
Councillors, along with the majority of those in the public gallery, stood in silent tribute for one minute.
The tributes were delayed following the abandonment of the previous full meeting of the council. Tessa Jowell was Labour MP for Dulwich and West Norwood from 1997 to 2015, having previously been elected as the MP for Dulwich in 1992.