Derek Draper: Kate Garraway says husband has died, aged 56Published39 minutes agoShareclose panelShare pageCopy linkAbout sharingRelated TopicsCoronavirus Image source, ITV / ShutterstockImage caption, Derek Draper and TV presenter Kate Garraway married in 2005 (pictured in 2019)Derek Draper, the author and former political adviser, has died aged 56, his wife Kate Garraway has said.Draper had been living with extreme complications from Covid since contracting the disease in March 2020.TV presenter Garraway confirmed his death in a statement posted on Instagram.”I’m sad to have to tell you all that my darling husband Derek has passed away,” she wrote.”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.”She continued: “I have so much more to say, and of course I will do so in due course, but for now I just want to thank all the medical teams who fought so hard to save him and to make his final moments as comfortable and dignified as possible. “Sending so much love and thanks to all of you who have so generously given our family so much support. Rest gently and peacefully now Derek, my love, I was so lucky to have you in my life.”Former prime minister Sir Tony Blair led the tributes, describing Draper as a “good colleague and great friend”.Image source, Getty ImagesImage caption, Sir Tony Blair led the tributes, describing Draper as a “good colleague and great friend”After being diagnosed with Covid, Draper was put into a coma in April 2020 and did not wake from it until the October of that year. Despite being Covid-free by early June, his body had undergone significant damage. After more than a year in hospital, and having still not regained his speech, Draper returned home in April 2021 on a trial basis while still receiving round-the-clock care and treatment.In July 2022, Garraway confirmed Draper had been readmitted to hospital and later that month it was reported that his condition had worsened. He was taken to hospital in December for further treatment.The family’s experience of adjusting to a new way of life due to his rare condition was chronicled in the ITV documentary Finding Derek, which went on to win a National Television Award.His battle with the virus won much attention and support, including from former prime minister Boris Johnson and the royal family.Garraway is taking an indefinite leave of absence and has cancelled all of her TV and radio work.Draper and Garraway married in 2005 and they had two children together.Image source, PA MediaImage caption, Derek Draper, pictured in 1998, retrained as a psychotherapist after leaving politicsDraper, who was from Chorley in Lancashire, was a Labour Party lobbyist for almost a decade. He left politics in 1998 after being involved in the “Lobbygate” scandal in which he was caught on record boasting of his ability to sell access to government ministers. He retrained as a psychotherapist and wrote regularly in magazines and newspapers on psychotherapy issues. He is the author of two books, Blair’s 100 Days and Life Support. In 2009 he founded the LabourList website, a news website supportive, but independent of, the Labour Party.Paying tribute, Sir Tony Blair said in a statement: “I am so sad to hear the news about Derek. My heart goes out to Kate and their children William and Darcey.”It is extraordinary and remarkable that Derek survived so long after the ravages of Covid. And that was in large measure due to the love Derek had for his family and they for him. This also says something very special about Derek.”He was a tough sometimes ruthless political operative, a brilliant adviser and someone you always wanted on your side. But underneath that tough exterior he was a loving, kind, generous and good natured man you wanted as a friend.Sir Tony added: “He was an important part of the New Labour story, at the centre of things right at the beginning. But most important of all, he was a good colleague and great friend. And we will miss him deeply.”Image source, PA MediaImage caption, Draper pictured with Kate Garraway and her parents after the TV presenter was made a MBE in June 2023Sir Elton John said: “So sorry to hear of this news, Kate. Love and thoughts to you and your family x.”Commenting on Garraway’s Instagram post, ITV presenter Lorraine Kelly said: “So sorry Kate. You fought so hard. Just incredibly sad. Sending you love”.Good Morning Britain host Susanna Reid wrote: “Our whole hearts are with you all.” Alastair Campbell, a prominent New Labour figure in the 1990s, described Derek Draper as “a huge character”.He tweeted: “Very sad to hear the news about Derek Draper. He was a huge character, a giver not a taker, and had so much more to give before Covid took its toll.”Sad above all for Kate Garraway and the children. Their love and support was profound and unshakeable to the end. RIP”.BBC Radio 2 breakfast host Zoe Ball said she was “heartbroken” for Garraway and her children.She added: “So much love coming your way from so many. May Derek’s star always shine brightest for you xxxx”Comedian Alan Carr also shared his sympathies with the TV presenter, saying: “Oh Kate that’s so awful. Sending you so much love and the deepest condolences.”During Friday’s episode of ITV daytime programme This Morning, host Alison Hammond said everyone on the programme was “sending our love” to Garraway and her two children.Related TopicsITVLong CovidCoronavirus More on this storyFeeling ‘so destroyed’ by Covid-19Published5 October 2021Covid: Sore throat and cough top symptomsPublished14 July 2022Garraway on husband’s battle with ‘evil virus’Published5 June 2020Kate Garraway says husband has ‘opened his eyes’Published6 July 2020