Dame Tessa Jowell was 'brave' and 'inspirational'

Dame Tessa Jowell was 'brave' and 'inspirational'

Former cabinet minister Dame Tessa Jowell has died at the age of 70, her family has announced.

Brain cancer research will have its government funding doubled to £40m and gold standard tumour diagnosis tests will be rolled out to all NHS hospitals, in tribute to Dame Tessa Jowell, Downing Street announced on Sunday.

Dame Tessa, who was Culture secretary in Tony Blair's government and also served as a minister under Gordon Brown, was diagnosed with a high-grade brain tumour known as glioblastoma in May 2017.

In her powerful and moving speech in the House of Lords, she also backed our campaign for 5-ALA - the so-called "pink drink", which causes brain tumour cells to glow in the dark and therefore makes them more easily visible to surgeons operating to remove them - to be made available across the United Kingdom to any patient who would benefit from its use.

He said: "Tessa was not just a close friend, she was a life enhancer".

"I hope this debate will give hope to other cancer patients like me".

'She died peacefully at the family home near Shipston-on-Stour in Warwickshire last night, shortly after 10pm.

A strong supporter of then-Prime Minister Tony Blair, Dame Tessa was reported to have said she would "jump under a bus" for him.

Ashford MP Damian Green told Kent Online: "Tessa Jowell was one of the few politicians who had respect, admiration and friendship from all sides in the House of Commons". Her speech on the subject in the House of Lords earned her a spontaneous standing ovation.

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Figures from the world of sport praised her involvement as culture secretary in bringing the Olympic Games to London. The following day - July 7, 2005 - four suicide bombers targeted the city's public transportation network, killing 52 people and injuring hundreds more.

Footballer David Beckham, who was an ambassador during the Olympic bid, posted on Instagram that "amazing woman" Dame Tessa "will be missed by so many".

She split from her lawyer husband David Mills in 2006 when she admitted being unaware he had paid off part of their mortgage with £350,000 at the centre of a bribery case involving former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

"As the full scale of the atrocity became clear, those of us representing the U.K.in Singapore could think about just one thing".

Ed Miliband, who was Labour leader during the games, said at the time she had left an "enormous" legacy and that the country owed her a "debt of gratitude".

"So it was a deeply civilized thing that we did in those marvelous two weeks in the summer of 2012".

In the early 1990s, Dame Tessa was selected to fight Dulwich as a parliamentary candidate.

Tributes for Jowell poured in from the many corners of British life she touched.

A small private funeral will be held "in the coming days" and a memorial service "open to all" at a later date.

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