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Tessa Jowell invited back to 2012's top table

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Adrian Warner | 17:25 UK time, Thursday, 15 July 2010

Tessa Jowell

Former Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell has been offered a place at London 2012's top table - a place on the Olympic board running the Games.

I've learned that Jowell, who played a crucial job in persuading the Labour Government to bid for the Games seven years ago, will sit alongside Conservative Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson, London Mayor Boris Johnson and 2012 chairman Lord Coe at key meetings.

It's a surprise move for the coalition Government to give the London MP, who is still the shadow Olympics spokesman, such a high-profile role.

Jowell was expected to be given some sort of ambassadorial role promoting the Games and the legacy of the Games worldwide.

But she will now sit at the heart of the handful of people making the key decisions about the Games.

This makes sense in terms of her experience but politicially, it will effectively stop the coalition Government from taking full credit for the success of the Olympics in 2012.

It's therefore a brave initiative from Conservative Olympics Secretary Jeremy Hunt - and his minister Hugh Robertson. Both should take credit for trying to take the politics out of the Games and make it an event which will unite the country and the political world.

I'm not sure Boris Johnson is going to be dancing in the streets about the decision, however.

Remember Jowell as the campaign manager of his rival Ken Livingstone in the last London Mayoral elections.


  • Comment number 1.

    I think this is great news and helps ensure that the London Games are above politics (even thought 3 of the 4 mentioned above are Condersative- thought thats 4/5 if you include Lord Moynihan of the BOA) and recognises that without the work of Tessa Jowell then basically we wouldn't be hosting the games

  • Comment number 2.


    Finally, good news for Tessa Jowell and her constant involvement in getting London the Olympics...


  • Comment number 3.

    a great and very noble decision by the olympic board and the coalition. this will mean the best people are running it

  • Comment number 4.

    Well, it's good that 5 years of knowledge and experience isn't being put to waste.

    If this country spent more time picking the best people for a job and less time appointing placemen, then there would be a culture of competence not patronage.

    Of course, for those who enjoy acquiring the power of patronage without the knowledge to justify it, that would be anathema.

    One wonders what percentage of people would support such anathema?

  • Comment number 5.

    My goodness, has Common Sense broken out amongst the politicians?

    Good that some egos have been put aside and Tessa's knowledge & experience over the last 5 years are not going to waste. The Olympics should be non party political.

  • Comment number 6.

    Congratulations to one and all. Let's hope there is no political pointscoring and the London Games are all we all hope they will be.

  • Comment number 7.

    Adrian, seems you're on the pulse on this?

    As I've posted before, there's a real possibility Johnson may not be at the table in 2012 and Jowell's presence would be invaluable in these circumstances. It also helps the coalition avoid bein accused of taking the credit for something everybody knows had very little to do with them.

  • Comment number 8.

    Lodon Olympic games will be a sports celeration for people around world. As a college student in china, I am very proud for my country holding Beijing Olympic games successfully. As one word I hope next summer Olympic games to perform exciting sports match.

  • Comment number 9.

    You're absolutely right Fanyun. But a lot of the excitement of the sports matches comes from great venues and spectors.

    One of the downsides of multi-party political systems is that big government projects over many years are difficult to deliver because no goverment wants to be blamed if they go wrong. you could say the Olympic Board is moving towards the Chinese system.

  • Comment number 10.

    So where after two years ago when she said there is no more government money for the Olympics have they found the money to give Ms Jowell a salary for her to be added to the numerous "jobs worth" on the 2012 gravy train?,I bet nobody has been removed

  • Comment number 11.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?


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