Sir Elton John and Sir Tony Blair were among the notable figures who attended the funeral of author and ex-political adviser Derek Draper, who passed away last month. Draper’s wife, TV host Kate Garraway, and their children were also present at the private service. Draper had been battling severe complications from Covid since March 2020, which led to a cardiac arrest in December and his subsequent death in early January.
Garraway had previously expressed her grief over her “darling husband Derek” in an Instagram post. In a tribute to the couple, Sir Elton John had dedicated his song, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me, to them during a concert at the O2 Arena in London.
Garraway, a presenter on Good Morning Britain (GMB), welcomed guests at the funeral, including her GMB co-hosts Ben Shephard, Richard Madeley, Susanna Reid, and former host Piers Morgan. Broadcaster Richard Madeley and musician Myleene Klass were also present to pay their respects.
Political figures such as Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell, former Labour MPs Lord Peter Mandelson and Tristram Hunt, former shadow chancellor Ed Balls and shadow climate secretary Ed Miliband were seen at the North London church.
Draper, originally from Chorley in Lancashire, was a lobbyist for the Labour Party for nearly ten years. He left politics in 1998 following the “Lobbygate” scandal where he was recorded bragging about his ability to sell access to government ministers. He later became a psychotherapist and author of two books, Blair’s 100 Days and Life Support. He also founded the LabourList website in 2009.
Following Draper’s death, Sir Tony Blair paid tribute to him as a “good colleague and great friend”.