Tessa Jowell

Tessa Jowell

Infobox Minister
honorific-prefix = The Right Honourable

name = Tessa Jowell
honorific-suffix = MP

office = Paymaster General
Minister for the Olympics
term_start = 27 June 2007
term_end =
primeminister = Gordon Brown
predecessor = Dawn Primarolo
successor = Incumbent
office2 =Minister for London
term_start2 =27 June 2007
term_end2 = 3 October 2008
primeminister2 =Gordon Brown
predecessor2 = Jim Fitzpatrick
successor2 = Tony McNulty
office3 =Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
term_start3 =8 June 2001
term_end3 = 27 June 2007
primeminister3 =Tony Blair
predecessor3 = Chris Smith
successor3 = James Purnell
constituency_MP4 =Dulwich and West Norwood
Dulwich (1992-1997)
term_start4 = 9 April 1992
term_end4 =
majority4 = 8,807 (21.0%)
parliament4 =
predecessor4 = Gerald Bowden
successor4 = Incumbent
birth_date = Birth date and age|1947|09|17|df=yes
birth_place = Marylebone, London, England
death_date =
death_place =
nationality = British
spouse = 1) Roger Jowell (divorced)
2) David Mills (separated)
party = Labour
relations =
children =
residence =
alma_mater = Goldsmiths, University of London
occupation =
profession =
religion =

website = [http://www.culture.gov.uk/ Department for Culture, Media and Sport]
[http://www.tessajowell.net/ Constituency Website]
footnotes =

Tessa Jowell (born 17 September 1947 in London) is a British politician. She is the Labour MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, and is currently Paymaster General.

She is also Minister for the Olympics, a role she initially combined with being Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport following the selection of London to host the 2012 Olympic Games. She was demoted in June 2007 when Tony Blair resigned as Prime Minister to be succeeded by Gordon Brown. This resulted in her losing her department, much of her ministerial brief, and her right to automatically sit in the Cabinet.

Early life

Born Tessa Jane Helen Douglas Palmer, she was educated at the independent St Margaret's School for Girls in Aberdeen, the University of Aberdeen, the University of Edinburgh and Goldsmiths College, University of London. She became a psychiatric social worker and eventually assistant director of the mental health charity Mind. In 1978 she was Labour Party candidate in a by-election in Ilford North but lost Labour's marginal majority to the Conservatives.

Member of Parliament

Elected as MP for Dulwich at the 1992 general election, she was successively appointed as an opposition spokesperson on health, an opposition whip and spokesperson on women before returning to the shadow health team in 1996.

In government

Jowell was appointed as Minister of State in the Department of Health after the 1997 Labour electoral landslide. She moved, again as Minister of State, to the Department for Education and Employment in 1999.Jowell was appointed Secretary of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport after the 2001 election, replacing the sacked Chris Smith. One of her main concerns as Culture Secretary was the future of television broadcasting. She blocked the BBC's original plans for the digital channel BBC3 on the grounds that they were insufficiently different from commercial offerings, and imposed extra conditions [cite news | url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/tv_and_radio/2545327.stm | title = BBC news channel told to change | publisher = BBC | date = 5 December 2002 ] on BBC News 24 after it was criticised on the same grounds by the Lambert Report. [cite web | url = http://www.culture.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/012A7C1A-C9ED-4F5B-8420-5684AE5AA1A7/0/independentreviewnews24.pdf | format = PDF | title = Review Of BBC News 24 | publisher = Department for Culture, Media and Sport | author = Lambert | date = 1 December 2002 ] She was also responsible for the Communications Act 2003 which established a new media regulator, OFCOM. It also relaxed regulations on ownership of UK television stations, though a "public interest" test was introduced as a compromise after a rebellion in the House of Lords. In 2004, Jowell faced resistance to proposals for a series of Las Vegas style casinos. Jowell has also had to deal with complaints that the National Lottery has been directed to fund programmes that should be covered by mainstream taxation. Jowell oversaw a restructuring of the Arts funding system but lost out in the 2004/5 spending round resulting in a cut in her departmental budget and the loss of tax credits for UK Film production.

Jowell was a strong supporter of the then Prime Minister, reportedly saying on one occasion that she would "Jump under a bus" for him. [ Daily Telegraph, 28 February 2006 ] In the cabinet reshuffle following the 2005 Election it was predicted that Jowell would be promoted to one of the larger spending departments such as Health Secretary where she had previously been a minister - but she was again over-looked.

In Gordon Brown's reshuffle in June 2007 following his succession as Prime Minister, Jowell was demoted from her position as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. She retained her Olympics portfolio and was also appointed Paymaster General and Minister for London, being allowed to attend the cabinet, but not as a full member. She was further demoted on 3 October 2008, losing her Minister for London role to Tony McNulty, and only being allowed to attend cabinet when her responsibility is on the agenda, as opposed to always attending.

Voting record

How Tessa Jowell voted on key issues since 2001( [http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/tessa_jowell/dulwich_and_west_norwood They Work For You] ):
* Voted against a transparent Parliament.
* Voted for introducing a smoking ban.
* Voted for introducing ID cards.
* Voted for introducing foundation hospitals.
* Voted for introducing student top-up fees.
* Voted for Labour's anti-terrorism laws.
* Voted for the Iraq war.
* Voted against investigating the Iraq war.
* Voted for replacing Trident.
* Voted for the hunting ban.
* Voted for equal gay rights.

Personal life

Jowell's first marriage was to fellow Camden councillor Roger Jowell in 1970. This was dissolved in 1976. She continues to use his surname. [cite news | url = http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2006/02/23/1402656.htm | title = The Minister And A £350,000 'Gift' | work = tmc.net | date = 23 February 2006 ] Roger Jowell co-founded and directed Social & Community Planning Research (SCPR), now the National Centre for Social Research, known for its British Social Attitudes Surveys.

Jowell's second marriage, on 17 March 1979, was to international corporate lawyer David Mills. They separated after controversy surrounding Mr Mills' business dealings in Italy (see below) began to damage Jowell's political reputation. During the break up, Jowell was criticised by feminists when she indicated that she was not implicated in her husband's finances as she left the mortgage paperwork up to Mills. [ Daily Telegraph, 4 March 2006 ] She has a son and daughter and three step-children.

Controversy and "Jowellgate"

David Mills has acted for Silvio Berlusconi, once Italian Prime Minister. This has been a cause of controversy, as Mills is being investigated in Italy for money laundering and alleged tax fraud. [cite news | url = http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2052135,00.html | title = How Jowell's husband played host to Berlusconi at the Garrick Club | work = Times | date = 22 February 2006 ] [cite news | url = http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/02/22/nmills22.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/02/22/ixhome.html | title = Jowell has nothing to do with Italian bribe allegations, insists her husband | work = Telegraph | date = 22 February 2006 ] Jowell was investigated by the Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell over the allegations surrounding her husband because of a potential clash of interest between her personal life and ministerial duties. However, Sir Gus stated that "it is the Prime Minister, not me, who, constitutionally, is the right and proper person to take a view on matters arising based on the Ministerial Code" in his letter, [cite news | url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4766978.stm | title = In Full: Tessa Jowell inquiry letter | publisher = BBC | date = 2 March 2006 ] and Tony Blair decided she was clear of any wrongdoing. [cite news | url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4761194.stm | title = Blair clears Jowell of wrongdoing | publisher = BBC | date = 2 March 2006 ]

On 4 March 2006, it was announced that Jowell and Mills separated after the allegations began to damage Jowell's political reputation. Their professed hopes to "restore their relationship over time" rather than seek divorce have caused some to regard this as merely a politically expedient gesture. [cite news | url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4773468.stm | title = Tessa Jowell splits from husband | publisher = BBC | date = 4 March2006 ] [cite news | url = http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/03/05/njowell105.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/03/05/ixnewstop.html | title = 'She just wanted to lie down and rest. She was devastated' | work = Telegraph | date = 5 March 2006 ] David Mills had admitted to being an "idiot" and has expressed his remorse about the impact of his dealings upon Tessa Jowell.

The affair has been termed "Jowellgate" by parts of the press. [cite news | url = http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/article348714.ece | title = Jowellgate: Italian judge will press charges over bribery allegations | work = Independent | date = 2 March 2006 ]

Jowell is no stranger to controversy. In 2003, she received unfavourable tabloid press coverage when her departmental "Christmas" cards avoided any reference to the Christmas story. More recently (2006), she has been heavily criticised for likely cost over-runs on the London Olympics project, which came under the umbrella of her former department. Fact|date=May 2007. Jowell was among a number of ministers accused of hypocrisy for opposing Post Office closures in their own constituencies while supporting the Government's closure strategy at the national level [ Daily Telegraph, 29 February, 2008]


External links

* cite web
url = http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page1395.asp
title = Tessa Jowell
publisher = 10 Downing Street

* cite web
url = http://www.culture.gov.uk/about_us/our_ministers/tessajowell.htm
title = Rt Hon Tessa Jowell MP
publisher = Department for Culture, Media and Sport

* cite web
url = http://www.tessajowell.net
title = Constituency website
publisher = Tessa Jowell MP

* cite web
url = http://politics.guardian.co.uk/person/0,9290,-2808,00.html
work = Guardian Unlimited Politics — Ask Aristotle
title = Tessa Jowell

* cite web
url = http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/tessa_jowell/dulwich_and_west_norwood
work = TheyWorkForYou.com
title = Tessa Jowell MP, Dulwich & West Norwood

* cite web
url = http://www.lambethlabour.com/features/tessajowell.html
title = Video interview with Tessa Jowell MP
publisher = Lambeth Labour

* [http://www.southwarklabour.co.uk/ Labour in Southwark]

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