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Tessa Jowell

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Tessa Jowell

The Right Honourable
The Baroness Jowell
DBE PC
Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office
In office
20 January 2011 – 7 October 2011
Leader Ed Miliband
Preceded by Liam Byrne
Succeeded by Jon Trickett
In office
11 May 2010 – 8 October 2010
Leader Harriet Harman (Acting)
Preceded by Francis Maude
Succeeded by Liam Byrne
Shadow Minister for London
In office
11 May 2010 – 16 January 2013
Leader Harriet Harman (Acting)
Ed Miliband
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Sadiq Khan
Shadow Minister for the Olympics
In office
11 May 2010 – 11 September 2012
Leader Harriet Harman (Acting)
Ed Miliband
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Position abolished
Minister for the Olympics
In office
6 July 2005 – 11 May 2010
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Gordon Brown
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Jeremy Hunt
Minister for the Cabinet Office
In office
5 June 2009 – 11 May 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Liam Byrne
Succeeded by Francis Maude
Minister for London
In office
5 June 2009 – 11 May 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Tony McNulty
Succeeded by Position abolished
In office
28 June 2007 – 3 October 2008
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Jim Fitzpatrick
Succeeded by Tony McNulty
Paymaster General
In office
28 June 2007 – 11 May 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Dawn Primarolo
Succeeded by Francis Maude
Secretary of State
for Culture, Media and Sport
In office
8 June 2001 – 27 June 2007
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by Chris Smith
Succeeded by James Purnell
Minister for Women
In office
5 May 2005 – 5 May 2006
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by Patricia Hewitt
Succeeded by Ruth Kelly
Shadow Minister for Women
In office
19 October 1995 – 26 July 1996
Leader Tony Blair
Preceded by Clare Short
Succeeded by Janet Anderson
Member of Parliament
for Dulwich and West Norwood
Dulwich (1992–1997)
In office
9 April 1992 – 30 March 2015
Preceded by Gerald Bowden
Succeeded by Helen Hayes
Personal details
Born (1947-09-17) 17 September 1947
London, UK
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Roger Jowell (divorced)
David Mills
Children 2 children
3 stepchildren
Alma mater University of Edinburgh
University of Aberdeen
University of London

Tessa Jane Helen Douglas Jowell, Baroness Jowell, DBE, PC (born 17 September 1947) is a British Labour Party politician, who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Dulwich and West Norwood from 1992 to 2015. She held a number of major government ministerial positions, as well as opposition appointments, during this period.

Her most senior position in Government was as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, a post she held from 2001 to 2007. A member of both the Blair and Brown Cabinets, she was also Minister for the Olympics (2005-2010) and Shadow Minister for the Olympics and Shadow Minister for London until September 2012, resigning after the London Olympic Games.

A Privy Councillor since 1998, she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2012.

She stood down from the House of Commons at the 2015 General Election. She was nominated for life peerage in the 2015 Dissolution Honours and was raised to the peerage as Baroness Jowell, of Brixton in the London Borough of Lambeth, on 27 October 2015.[1][2]

In September 2015, she was unsuccessful in seeking to be selected as the Labour Party's official candidate in the 2016 election for Mayor of London, coming second to Sadiq Khan in the contest of six candidates.[3]

Contents

  • Early life 1
  • Member of Parliament 2
    • In Government 2.1
    • Political positions 2.2
    • London 2012 Olympics 2.3
  • Controversies 3
    • Jowell, Mills and Berlusconi 3.1
    • Other controversies 3.2
  • Personal life 4
  • Honours 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Tessa Jane Helen Palmer was born at Middlesex Hospital[4] in Marylebone, London, to Dr. Kenneth Palmer, a physician and his wife, Rosemary, a radiographer.[5]

She was educated at the independent St Margaret's School for Girls in Aberdeen, the University of Aberdeen (where she studied arts, psychology and sociology) and the University of Edinburgh (where she studied for an MA in Social Administration). She became a social worker, initially working in the Craigmillar area of Edinburgh and as a childcare officer in Lambeth, before training at Goldsmiths College as a psychiatric social worker. She subsequently worked at the Maudsley Hospital, and later became assistant director of the mental health charity Mind.

During this time Jowell took her first steps into electoral politics, being elected to represent Swiss Cottage on Camden London Borough Council in the early 1970s, and becoming Chair of the Camden Borough Council's Social Services Committee at the age of 25.[4] In 1978, she was the Labour Party candidate in a by-election in Ilford North but lost Labour's majority to the Conservatives. She stood again in Ilford North at the 1979 general election, also unsuccessfully.[6]

Member of Parliament

Elected as MP for Dulwich at the 1992 general election, Jowell 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. She 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 television broadcasting. She blocked the BBC's plans for the digital channel BBC3, on the grounds that they were insufficiently different from commercial offerings, and imposed extra conditions[7] on BBC News 24 after it was criticized on the same grounds by the Lambert Report.[8] She was responsible for the Communications Act 2003 which established a new media regulator, OFCOM. It also relaxed regulations on ownership of British television stations, though, following a rebellion in the House of Lords, a 'public interest' test was introduced as a compromise.

In 2004, Jowell faced resistance to proposals for a series of so-called "super casinos", to be sanctioned as part of the Gambling Act 2005 which liberalised Britain's gaming laws. Although problem gambling has ruined the lives of many ordinary people,[9] in the run up to the Bill, Jowell dismissed much of the criticism as being elitist, commenting that "opponents of the Government's gambling reforms are snobs who want to deny ordinary people the right to bet".[10] Former Labour Welfare Minister Frank Field said her comments were crass, declaring, "I think this whole New Labour line that you insult people rather than engage in argument is deeply disturbing".

She dealt with complaints that the National Lottery had been directed to fund programmes that should have been covered by mainstream taxation. She 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 British film production.

In 2007, Jowell introduced a new governance system for the BBC: the BBC Trust, which replaced the long-established Board of Governors. In 2012, the BBC Trust was shown to be 'not fit for purpose', leading to the resignation of the Director General.[11][12]

Jowell was a zealous supporter of the then Prime Minister Tony Blair, reportedly saying on one occasion that she would "jump under a bus" for him.[13][14]

In Gordon Brown's reshuffle in June 2007, following his succession as Labour leader and Prime Minister, Jowell was demoted from her position as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. She retained her Olympics portfolio, however, and was also appointed Paymaster General and Minister for London, being allowed to attend Cabinet, although not as a full member. She was further demoted on 3 October 2008, losing her Minister for London role to Tony McNulty, and being allowed to attend cabinet only when her area of responsibility was on the agenda. In his 2009 reshuffle, Brown reappointed her to the Cabinet as Minister for the Cabinet Office.

In the 2012 Birthday Honours, Jowell was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for "political and charitable services", in particular for her contribution to delivering the London 2012 Olympics.[15][16]

Political positions

Jowell was very supportive of New Labour and was fully loyal to its agenda, earning herself a strong reputation as a Blairite. In 2007, she supported Hazel Blears for the deputy leadership of the Labour Party. In 2009, she was mentioned as a possible Cabinet minister who might resign over the leadership of Gordon Brown in order to trigger a leadership contest - a suggestion which proved unfounded. In opposition, Jowell supported David Miliband's campaign to become Leader of the Labour Party, but served in Ed Miliband's Shadow Cabinet when he became Leader of HM Opposition.

She has been involved in the Blue Labour movement in the Labour Party, and was a contributor to The Purple Book, drawing on her background on the right of the Labour Party.

London 2012 Olympics

Jowell notably was in charge of London's successful bid to host the 2012 Olympics. She came up with the idea in 2002, during her time as Culture Secretary, when she said there was very little support from within the Cabinet, with many colleagues thinking that Paris' bid would win. Jowell convinced the Government to support the bid, however, and went ahead with it. In 2004, she launched the bid and, when the Games were awarded to London, she was appointed Olympics Minister (in addition to her responsibilities as Culture Secretary), and held full ministerial responsibility for the bid from 2006. Despite being moved from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in 2007, she retained her position as Olympics Minister throughout Labour's time in office.

Following the General Election of May 2010, at which Labour lost power, she became Shadow Olympics Minister. She remained, however, on the 2012 Olympics Organising Committee, with Lord Coe and Jeremy Hunt. She was appointed Deputy Mayor of the Olympics Village, being responsible for making the Olympics take place. She resigned her role as Shadow Minister for the Olympics in September 2012, and returned to the House of Commons backbenches.

Controversies

Jowell, Mills and Berlusconi

Jowell's husband David Mills is an international corporate lawyer who has acted for Silvio Berlusconi, Italian Prime Minister. Mills was investigated in Italy for money laundering and alleged tax fraud.[17][18]

Jowell was investigated by the Cabinet Secretary Gus O'Donnell over the allegations surrounding her husband, because of a possible conflict of interest between her personal life and ministerial duties. However, O'Donnell 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,[19] and Tony Blair decided she was clear of any wrongdoing.[20]

On 4 March 2006, it was announced that Jowell and Mills had separated, after the allegations had begun to damage her political standing. Jowell said "although we are separated I have never doubted his innocence".[21] Mills allegedly admitted to being "an idiot", and has expressed his remorse about the impact of his dealings upon his wife. The separation had effectively ended by September 2012.[22]

On 17 February 2009, an Italian court sentenced David Mills to four years and six months in jail after finding him guilty of accepting a bribe from Mr Berlusconi to give false evidence on his behalf during corruption trials which had taken place in 1997 and 1998. His defence counsel said that the sentence went "against the logic and dynamic of the evidence presented". The judgment was appealed by Mills. On 27 October 2009, the Italian Appeal Court upheld his conviction and prison sentence. Mills confirmed that he would initiate a second and final appeal to the Cassation Court.[23]

On 25 February 2010, the Italian Cassation Court (the second and last court of appeal under Italian law) dissolved the case because of the statute of limitations.[24][25] For this type of crime, in Italian law, a case expires after 10 years. Mills argued that he received the money in 1999, and not 2000 as Prosecutors had previously argued, thus taking advantage of the statute of limitations.[26] He was nevertheless ordered to pay €250,000 compensation to the office of the Italian Prime Minister for "damaging its reputation".[27]

Other controversies

In 2001, Jowell was widely criticized for 'interfering' in Independent Television Commission (ITC) rulings on complaints regarding Brass Eye. The Guardian newspaper suggested that "for the Culture Secretary to speak directly to the head of a TV network about a specific programme smacks of the Soviet commissar and the state broadcaster".[28][29][30] The ITC reminded Jowell that she should not be interfering in their processes, resulting in a Channel Four interviewer suggesting Jowell and her colleagues "must feel like idiots".[31]

In 2006, Jowell was criticised[32] for projected cost over-runs on the London 2012 Summer Olympics project, which came under the supervision of her former department.[33] She was also among a number of ministers accused of hypocrisy[34] for opposing Post Office closures in their own constituencies while supporting the Government's closure strategy at the national level.[35]

Jowell was Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport during the News of the World newspaper phone-hacking scandal (pre-2007).[36] In January 2007, Clive Goodman, the News of the World's 'royal editor', was jailed for four months, and Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator employed by the News of the World, was jailed for six months.[37]

In May 2014 a temporary personal assistant to Richard Scudamore, Chief Executive of the UK Premier League, read private emails between Scudamore and colleagues and friends. These included comments about women's football, which the assistant felt to be inappropriate. She passed them on to a national newspaper, the Daily Mirror. Jowell defended the reading and passing on of the emails, declaring that, "in the world of social media and email, there is no public and private".[38]

Personal life

Jowell's first marriage was to fellow Camden Councillor Roger Jowell in 1970; this was dissolved in 1976, but she continues to use his surname.[39] Roger Jowell co-founded and directed Social & Community Planning Research (SCPR), now the National Centre for Social Research,[40] known for its British Social Attitudes Surveys.

She married David Mills on 17 March 1979. They separated in March 2006, following the controversy over Mills's links to Berlusconi. Their professed hopes to "restore their relationship over time", rather than seek divorce, caused some to regard this as a politically expedient gesture to save her political career.[41][42] Jowell said on Radio 4's Woman's Hour programme in September 2012 that she was seeing Mills regularly, saying that they had "reached a state of stability which I never thought possible".[22] She has a son and daughter, as well as three stepchildren from Mills' first marriage.

In January 2011, during the News of the World phone hacking affair, it was revealed that Jowell had contacted lawyers as she attempted to find out who hacked into her voicemails on 28 separate occasions during 2006. Jowell contacted police in late January 2011 to inform them that there had recently been an unsuccessful attempt to listen to voicemail messages on her phone.[43]

She was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2012 Birthday Honours list.[44] She was elevated as a Life Peer to the House of Lords in the 2015 Dissolution Peerages List.[45]

Honours

[46] [47]

References

  1. ^ www.gov.uk
  2. ^ The London Gazette notice 2424594
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ Profile in The Observer by Martin Bright, 22 February 2009
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ BBC#cite note-34
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60173. p. 6. 16 June 2012.
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ a b
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ According to the prosecutor the crime occurred on 11 November 1999, when "Mills, on his own, and not as manager of the interests of others, provided instructions for the transfer of about $ 600,000 from the Janus Capital Fund and the Torrey Fund" and February 29, 2000 when the money was actually made available, as is determined by the Court of appeal, and the different date means that the offence expired [after the 10-year rule]. The prosecutor in the indictment also pointed out that "the delay of the final step in the ownership of the shares does not affect the time of when the expiry of the offence takes effect but stems from the desire of Mills to complicate the reconstruction of this illegal transfer of money and its origins" and that "when there is uncertainty about the date of committing an offence, the rule of favor rei applies: and the effect of the 10-year expiry must be fixed at the most favourable date for the accused
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^ www.morningstaronline.co.uk
  33. ^
  34. ^ www.standard.co.uk
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^
  44. ^
  45. ^ https://www.gov.uk/government/news/dissolution-peerages-2015
  46. ^ http://www.southwark.gov.uk/news/article/760/sir_michael_caine_receives_freedom_of_the_borough_of_southwark
  47. ^ https://www.flickr.com/photos/southwarkcouncil/sets/72157629724277788/

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Gerald Bowden
Member of Parliament
for Dulwich

19921997
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament
for Dulwich and West Norwood

19972015
Succeeded by
Helen Hayes
Political offices
Preceded by
Clare Short
Shadow Minister for Women
1995–1996
Succeeded by
Janet Anderson
Preceded by
Chris Smith
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
2001–2007
Succeeded by
James Purnell
Preceded by
Patricia Hewitt
Minister for Women
2005–2006
Succeeded by
Ruth Kelly
New office Minister for the Olympics
2005–2010
Succeeded by
Jeremy Hunt
Preceded by
Jim Fitzpatrick
Minister for London
2007–2008
Succeeded by
Tony McNulty
Preceded by
Dawn Primarolo
Paymaster General
2007–2010
Succeeded by
Francis Maude
Preceded by
Liam Byrne
Minister for the Cabinet Office
2009–2010
Preceded by
Tony McNulty
Minister for London
2009–2010
Position abolished
Preceded by
Francis Maude
Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office
2010
Succeeded by
Liam Byrne
New office Shadow Minister for the Olympics
2010–2012
Position abolished
Shadow Minister for London
2010–2013
Succeeded by
Sadiq Khan
Preceded by
Liam Byrne
Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office
2011
Succeeded by
Jon Trickett
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