Dame Deborah James hailed an ‘inspiration’ in heartfelt tribute during emotional PMQs


WESTMINSTER showered Dame Deborah James with heartfelt tributes today in a rare and moving Commons display of unity.

Dominic Raab opened PMQs with a touching salute to the inspirational campaigner, who died of bowel cancer aged 40 yesterday.

Dominic Raab leads PMQs
Dame Deborah James died yesterday aged 40

The Deputy Prime Minister said: “I know that the thoughts of the whole House will be with the family and friends of Dame Deborah James following the news of her death.

“I lost my own father to cancer and know the pain her family will feel.

“Dame Deborah was an inspiration to so many and raised millions to help others affected by cancer.”

Dame Debs raised raised £6.7 million for cancer research in the final weeks of her life. 

An emotional post on her Instagram account informed thousands of followers that Deborah passed away “peacefully” and “surrounded by family”.  

The mum of two was diagnosed with incurable bowel cancer just days before Christmas in 2016. 



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After learning she would receive at home end of life care in May this year, Deborah started the Bowelbabe fund.

The millions it has raised will help to fund life-changing clinical trials and research.  

Yesterday Boris Johnson joined Deborah’s legion of admirers around the world paying tribute to the Sun columnist.

He said: “I’m terribly saddened to hear that Dame Deborah James has died.

“What an inspiration she was to so many. The awareness she brought to bowel cancer and the research her campaigning has funded will be her enduring legacy.

“Because of her, many many lives will be saved.”

Dame Deborah James raised millions for Cancer Research UK
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