Tragic cancer victim Jade Goody and her finance Jack Tweed were “absolutely thrilled” today after being told they will be able to spend their wedding night together.
The UK's Ministry of Justice said the terms of Tweed’s curfew, imposed following his release from prison, would be changed to reflect the “exceptional” circumstances.
Max Clifford, the couple’s publicist, said: “We are absolutely thrilled. It will be the dream finish to her dream day, and it makes so much difference.
“Our heartfelt thanks from Jade and from Jack for allowing him to stay the evening in these very special circumstances.”
The change to Tweed's release conditions mean he will be able to stay at the couple's reception until 3pm on the day after their wedding instead of having to return to his mother's home by 7pm immediately after the couple tie the knot.
Justice Secretary Jack Straw said: “It is crucial that offenders are treated equally within the rules regardless of the publicity surrounding their case but I was satisfied that it was reasonable to allow this.”
A spokesman added: “Jack has enormous sympathy for Jade Goody and her family at this time. She is showing extraordinary courage and his thoughts are with her and her family.”
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said today: "I think everybody is sad at the tragedy that's befallen Jade Goody.
“Everyone who suffers cancer has the thoughts of me and I think the whole country over what they’ve got to go through.”
He was speaking during a constituency visit in Burntisland, Fife.
Tweed was jailed for 18 months last September after assaulting a teenager with a golf club.
He was released early from Wayland Prison in Norfolk last month on condition he wears a tag and returns to his mother’s house in Essex by 7pm each day.
Terminally-ill Goody, who has been given weeks to live, was said to have been “heartbroken” at the possibility of parting from her new husband after the wedding on Sunday.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “The National Offender Management Service chief operating officer, in discussion with the Governor of the prison, has determined that this is an exceptional case and Mr Tweed will be allowed to remain at the reception and at that address until 3pm the day after the wedding.”
Meanwhile, preparations for the wedding – which is understood to be fetching close to £1 million in broadcast and magazine rights – were gathering pace today.
Goody and Tweed received a visit yesterday from Bishop Jonathan Blake, of the independent London-based Open Episcopal Church.
He refused to be drawn on whether he would be conducting the wedding ceremony, but a source said he may be involved alongside a registrar.
The reality TV star was also driven from her Essex home to buy wedding presents, and later met three of her bridesmaids.
And Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty urged people to pray for the cancer-stricken mother-of-two.
Shetty and Goody were at the centre of the Celebrity Big Brother race row two years ago, which sparked thousands of complaints.
Viewers were outraged about the treatment of Shetty by Goody and other housemates on the Channel 4 reality TV show.
But Shetty, 33, spoke of her wish for everyone to forget the past and support Goody, who found out she was terminally ill with cervical cancer last week.
In an interview broadcast on ITV News, she said: “I buried the hatchet a very long time ago, not because I’d heard about her being diagnosed with cancer.
“I’d repeatedly told people my feelings and I really didn’t want to have any ill feelings against her.
“It’s really sad to know that her health is deteriorating and I really want people to forget the past and I really want them to pray and send her good wishes because that’s something that will give her energy.
“I really want all the positive things to be affecting her at this point.”
Shetty said she had been invited to Goody’s wedding but was filming in Bombay - “but if I was in London I would definitely have been there to show her my solidarity”.
Goody will have a special pouch concealed in her wedding dress to hold her painkillers when she marries.
Tweed has vowed she will go down the aisle with him, even if he has to wheel her in a hospital bed.
Brit Award winners Girls Aloud are said to be desperately keen to perform on Goody’s big day.
Mr Clifford said the arrangements for the wedding were still coming together.
“It’s organised chaos – there’s so much to be arranged,” he said.
“We’re organising a wedding in four or five days, when normally it takes four or five months.”