Portsmouth MP pays tribute to Tessa Jowell

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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.

As Culture Secretary, she convinced Blair to push for the Olympic games, which proved a person triumph for her when the bid for the 2012 games was successful.

Jowell, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor past year, remained a member of the House of Lords and used the platform to call for improved information-sharing and better access to medical care.

"'She knew she was dying and yet she was prepared to give everything she had in order to help people in the future", Mr Blair said of her campaigning towards the end of her life. "It must be extended to all of them", Jowell said in her final speech in the House of Lords.

In a statement released today, her family said: "Tessa, who was 70, was diagnosed with a gliobastoma multiforme brain tumour in May past year, suffered a haemorrhage on Friday, and had been in a coma since then".

While politicians of all affiliations offered tributes and praise for Jowell's courage and her championing of programs like Sure Start children's centers as a government minister, it was her work on the Olympics that gave her a profile with the general public.

Dame Tessa was employment minister and minister for women, before joining the cabinet as culture secretary in 2001, during which she helped bring the Olympic Games to London.

Tessa Jowell once said she'd "jump under a bus" for Tony Blair. The following day - July 7, 2005 - four suicide bombers targeted the London transport network, killing 52 people and injuring hundreds more. She played the pivotal role in gathering, and maintaining government support for a bid and subsequently putting in place the structures necessary to deliver The Games. "I was in Singapore", she recalled.

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At the wrong end, West Brom finished bottom and Stoke beat Swansea, as all three sides ended up in the Championship. But they had no intention of letting the impending party distract them on the south-coast.

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

"My thoughts and prayers, and those of Cherie and all the family are with David and her wonderful family of whom she was justly very proud". She lost to her Conservative rival and was defeated again the following year.

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

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

"We send our honest condolences to her family - and I hope that the actions we are taking now and in the future to improve care and research for those confronting a bad disease will form part of the lasting legacy of an inspirational woman".

Announcing her death, a statement from her family said: "Her husband David and their children Jessie and Matthew were by her side, with Jessie's husband Finn, Matthew's wife Ella, and David's children from his first marriage".

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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