As was widely expected, Tessa Jowell has quit the Shadow Cabinet following the end of the Olympics and Paralympics. Jowell has served in a number of roles on the Labour front bench over the past two decades, most recently as Shadow Olympics Minister. Now that role has ceased to exist, she has taken the decision to move on – having followed the project, inside and outside of government, from beginning to end.
In fact it’s worth remembering just a day after the Olympic festivities came to an end that Jowell sent back the original civil service report on the Olympics which said that Britain should not bid for the games. Jowell asked for the bid to be explored properly – and the rest is history.
Jowell was recently made a Dame for her work on the games – a thoroughly deserved accolade.
Update: Responding to Jowell’s decision to step down from the Shadow Cabinet, Ed Miliband said:
“Over her career, Tessa has been an amazing asset to the Labour Party and to Britain.
“Her legacy is enormous. What we have seen at the London 2012 would not have been possible without Tessa’s determination and dedication both in championing the bid and playing a major role in delivering the Games. For this the whole country owes her a huge debt of gratitude. She served in several roles both in Government and Opposition with dedication. Her perseverance played a key role in improving the lives of millions of children by introducing affordable childcare and Sure Start.
“Tessa will be missed from the Shadow Cabinet, but I know from her dedication to public service that she has much more to contribute in the future.”
Meanwhile, Jowell responded herself – saying:
“It has been the greatest privilege to have serve as part of Labour’s frontbench team, in government and most recently in the shadow cabinet for nearly 20 years.
“To have been able to be part of planning and delivering the Olympic and Paralympic Games from start to finish is a rare opportunity in public life and that too has been a privilege. After 10 years with the Olympics and Paralympics it is job done.
“I hope people across our country know that the Labour Party under Ed Miliband’s leadership wants to speak for them, cares about them and is ready to serve them.
“Our country has changed this summer and for the better because of the power of the British people, the Games Makers and our great Olympic and Paralympic athletes.”