Former lobbyist and political adviser Derek Draper, who was married to TV presenter Kate Garraway, has died after suffering long-lasting symptoms from coronavirus.
A statement from Garraway on Instagram said: “I’m sad to have to tell you all that my darling husband Derek has passed away.
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“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.”
A prominent figure in New Labour in the UK in 1990s, Mr Draper 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.
Mr Draper fell seriously ill with Covid-19 in March 2020 and spent 13 months in hospital before he was discharged.
Despite being free of the virus, he had suffered long-lasting damage to his organs and required daily care.
In 2021, Good Morning Britain presenter Garraway won a prize at the National Television Awards for the documentary Finding Derek, about her family’s experience during the pandemic.
It detailed her husband’s treatment and his subsequent return to their family home.
In July 2022, Garraway confirmed Mr Draper had been readmitted to hospital and later that month it was reported that his condition had worsened.
His battle with the virus won much attention and support, including from former British prime minister Boris Johnson and the royal family.
Garraway and Mr Draper married in 2005 and had two children, Darcey and Billy.
Source: Press Association