Derek Draper: Elton John and Tony Blair attend funeral service

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Kate Garraway, Derek Draper’s wife, arrived at the church with her children
By Noor Nanji
Culture reporter

Sir Elton John and Sir Tony Blair are among the stars and politicians attending the funeral of Derek Draper, the author and former political adviser who died last month.

Draper’s wife, TV presenter Kate Garraway, and their children were also in attendance at the private service.

Draper had been living with extreme complications from Covid since contracting the disease in March 2020.

He suffered a cardiac arrest in December and died in early January.

At the time, Garraway wrote about her “darling husband Derek” in a statement posted on Instagram.

In April last year, Sir Elton dedicated his song, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me, to Garraway and Draper, who managed to attend his show at the O2 Arena in London.

Sir Elton John and his husband David Furnish were among those paying their last respects

Garraway, who presents Good Morning Britain (GMB), greeted guests ahead of Draper being laid to rest.

They included her fellow GMB hosts, Ben Shephard, Richard Madeley and Susanna Reid. Former GMB presenter Piers Morgan was also in attendance.

Former Labour prime minister Tony Blair attended the ceremony with his wife Cherie Blair
Myleene Klass attended the funeral service in North London

Broadcaster Richard Madeley and musician and broadcaster Myleene Klass also came to pay their last respects. Klass has previously stepped in to host Garraway’s Smooth Radio show.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Alastair Campbell, former Labour spin doctor, were also seen arriving at the church in North London.

They were joined by former Labour MPs Lord Peter Mandelson and Tristram Hunt, who is now director of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer was also in attendance

Other political figures, including former shadow chancellor Ed Balls and the shadow climate secretary Ed Miliband, were also at the ceremony.

Draper, 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.

Broadcaster Roman Kemp also attended the service

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.

After Draper died, Sir Tony was among those paying tribute to him, describing him as a “good colleague and great friend”.

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