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We should all defend Tessa Jowell’s Sure Start legacy

Jowell called it her proudest achievement. Now, it feels like the last relic of a government that cared about the lives of the vulnerable

By Frances Ryan  

Tessa Jowell. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Archive/PA Images

The death of Tessa Jowell this weekend has led to tributes from across the political aisle. Inevitably, it’s the 2012 Olympic Games that is largely being referred to as Jowell’s key legacy: as culture secretary, she was instrumental in the UK’s drive to win the Games for London. But it’s Sure Start—the early years initiative launched in 1998—that’s surely her greatest success.

Jowell herself thought as much. In an interview with the Guardian in 2015 looking back at her career, Jowell said that introducing…

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