Derek Draper who is the husband of Kate Garraway has sadly passed away following “complications” after suffering a cardiac arrest in early December 2023.

The 56-year-old suffered from long-lasting symptoms after he became unwell with coronavirus in March 2020.

He spent 13 months in hospital before he was discharged but he had remaining damage to his organs and required daily care.

Who is Derek Draper?

Draper was born on August 15, 1967, in Chorley, Lancashire and was educated at Runshaw College in Leyland before going to the University of Manchester.

As a prominent figure in New Labour in the 1990s, Derek worked for Blairite Peter Mandelson and set up the Progress organisation with Liam Byrne, who went on to become an MP.

After he was embroiled in the so-called “cash-for-access” scandal, dubbed “lobbygate”, he travelled to the United States, where he retrained as a psychotherapist.

Draper and Garraway got married in 2005 and the couple had two children together called Darcey and Billy.

Garraway was previously a GMTV co-presenter who is now part of the Good Morning Britain team on ITV and appeared on Strictly Come Dancing in 2007 and I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in November 2019.

In 2008, Draper returned to the Labour spotlight as the head of the website LabourList, a left-wing rival to online portals such as Conservative Home.

He hit the headlines again in 2009 and stepped down as editor of LabourList after email correspondence between him and Damian McBride, one of Gordon Brown’s key aides, was leaked.

In the emails, McBride proposed a campaign of unfounded personal smears against senior Conservatives on a new blog called RedRag, an idea praised by Draper as “absolutely, totally brilliant”.

Draper was once again consigned to the Labour wilderness and became chief executive of a leadership consultancy, compiling weekly emails summarising the best content for business and HR leaders.

In 2019, he announced he was resigning his Labour Party membership.

Kate Garraway thanks medical teams who ‘fought so hard’ to ‘save Derek’

In a post on Instagram, Garraway said: “I’m sad to have to tell you all that my darling husband Derek has passed away.

“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.

“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.”