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Derek Draper funeral: Kate Garraway leads procession for husband with Tony Blair and Elton John in attendance

Derek Draper funeral: Kate Garraway leads procession for husband with Tony Blair and Elton John in attendance

Tony Blair and Elton John joined other famous mourners at the funeral of Derek Draper, the husband of television presenter Kate Garraway, in London today.

Draper, a former political adviser and psychotherapist, died last month.

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Derek Draper in 2009. Pic: PA

He was said to be one of the UK’s longest-suffering COVID patients after catching the disease in March 2020 and spending 13 months in hospital.

Garraway followed behind the coffin while the procession walked to the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Primrose Hill – where the Good Morning Britain presenter and Draper married in September 2005.

Pic: PA
Kate Garraway accompanies the coffin into the funeral service of her husband Derek Draper at St Mary the Virgin church in Primrose Hill, north west London. The former lobbyist turned psychologist and author, who married presenter Kate Garraway in 2005, died last month following long-lasting symptoms from coronavirus. Picture date: Friday February 2, 2024.
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Kate Garraway at the funeral service for her husband, Derek Draper. Pic: PA

Kate Garraway and Derek Draper in 2006.
Pic: David Fisher/Shutterstock
Image:
Kate Garraway and Derek Draper in 2006. Pic: David Fisher/Shutterstock

Before laying her husband to rest, she greeted attendees including Sir Elton John and his husband David Furnish.

Pic: PA
Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish attending the funeral service of Derek Draper at St Mary the Virgin church in Primrose Hill, north west London. The former lobbyist turned psychologist and author, who married presenter Kate Garraway in 2005, died last month following long-lasting symptoms from coronavirus. Picture date: Friday February 2, 2024
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Sir Elton John and David Furnish arriving at the funeral. Pic: PA

Former prime minister Tony Blair and other Labour contemporaries Alastair Campbell, Lord Peter Mandelson, Ed Balls and Tristram Hunt were also seen entering the church in north London for Draper’s service.

Pic: PA
Former prime minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie Blair attend the funeral service of Derek Draper at St Mary the Virgin church in Primrose Hill, north west London. The former lobbyist turned psychologist and author, who married presenter Kate Garraway in 2005, died last month following long-lasting symptoms from coronavirus. Picture date: Friday February 2, 2024.
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Former prime minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie Blair. Pic: PA

Pic: PA
Alastair Campbell attends the funeral service of Derek Draper at St Mary the Virgin church in Primrose Hill, north west London. The former lobbyist turned psychologist and author, who married presenter Kate Garraway in 2005, died last month following long-lasting symptoms from coronavirus. Picture date: Friday February 2, 2024.
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Alastair Campbell. Pic: PA

Pic: PA
Lord Peter Mandelson attends the funeral service of Derek Draper at St Mary the Virgin church in Primrose Hill, north west London. The former lobbyist turned psychologist and author, who married presenter Kate Garraway in 2005, died last month following long-lasting symptoms from coronavirus. Picture date: Friday February 2, 2024.
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Lord Peter Mandelson. Pic: PA

Sir Keir Starmer also attended, as did Garraway’s presenting partners, Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard.

More on Kate Garraway

Pic: PA
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer attends the funeral service of Derek Draper at St Mary the Virgin church in Primrose Hill, north west London. The former lobbyist turned psychologist and author, who married presenter Kate Garraway in 2005, died last month following long-lasting symptoms from coronavirus. Picture date: Friday February 2, 2024.
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Sir Keir Starmer. Pic: PA

Pic: PA
Susanna Reid attends the funeral service of Derek Draper at St Mary the Virgin church in Primrose Hill, north west London. The former lobbyist turned psychologist and author, who married presenter Kate Garraway in 2005, died last month following long-lasting symptoms from coronavirus. Picture date: Friday February 2, 2024.
Image:
Susanna Reid. Pic: PA

Pic: PA
Ben Shephard attends the funeral service of Derek Draper at St Mary the Virgin church in Primrose Hill, north west London. The former lobbyist turned psychologist and author, who married presenter Kate Garraway in 2005, died last month following long-lasting symptoms from coronavirus. Picture date: Friday February 2, 2024.
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Ben Shephard. Pic: PA

Myleene Klass, famous for being in the group Hear’Say and who has previously stepped in to host Garraway’s Smooth Radio show while Draper was ill, was also pictured leaving the funeral.

Pic: PA
Myleene Klass leaves following the funeral service of Derek Draper at St Mary the Virgin church in Primrose Hill, north west London. The former lobbyist turned psychologist and author, who married presenter Kate Garraway in 2005, died last month following long-lasting symptoms from coronavirus. Picture date: Friday February 2, 2024.
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Myleene Klass. Pic: PA

Garraway and Draper have two children together – Darcey and Billy – and celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary in September. The presenter previously said on Instagram that she was “so glad” he survived to see it.

A prominent figure in New Labour in the 1990s, Draper worked for Lord Mandelson and set up the Progress organisation with Liam Byrne, who went on to become an MP.

Kate Garraway with Derek Draper in 2007. Pic: Alan Davidson/Shutterstock
Image:
Kate Garraway with Derek Draper in 2007. Pic: Alan Davidson/Shutterstock


After becoming embroiled in the “cash-for-access” scandal in 1998 – also known as “lobbygate” – Draper travelled to the US and retrained as a psychotherapist.

He launched LabourList, a news website supportive of the Labour Party, in January 2009 and later published a self-help book, Life Support: A Survival Guide for the Modern Soul. He also ran a small psychotherapy practice in Bloomsbury.

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Kate Garraway, with her husband Derek Draper and her parents Gordon and Marilyn Garraway, after being made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for her services to broadcasting, journalism and charity by the Prince of Wales during an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle, Berkshire. Picture date: Wednesday June 28, 2023.
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Kate Garraway with Derek Draper and her parents, Gordon and Marilyn Garraway, after being made an MBE. Pic: PA

After being diagnosed with coronavirus at the start of the pandemic, Draper was left with extensive damage to his organs and needed daily care.

He was admitted to hospital in December last year when he had a heart attack. Draper died on 3 January.

Garraway announced her husband’s death on Instagram on 5 January, saying: “As some of you may know he has been critically ill following a cardiac arrest in early December which, because of the damage inflicted by Covid in March 2020, led to further complications.

“Derek was surrounded by his family in his final days and I was by his side holding his hand throughout the last long hours and when he passed.”