Dissecting Derek Draper’s political scandals and post-politics life

The recent passing of Derek William Draper has brought forth a wave of online chatter as observers revisit the scandals that marked his political career. An English lobbyist, Draper is remembered for his involvement in two significant political scandals during his tenure as a political advisor. He first came under scrutiny in 1998 during the “Lobbygate” scandal, and again in 2009 while serving as the editor of the LabourList website.

Draper was not only a political figure but also held a career in psychology and was an author, penning notable works like Blair’s 100 Days and Life Support. His health took a drastic turn for the worse when he contracted a severe case of COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic in the UK during March 2020. After a year of hospitalization and a heart arrest in December 2023, his wife, Kate Garraway, confirmed his demise on January 5, 2024.

Exploring Derek Draper’s Scandals and Twitter Reactions

The internet is abuzz with discussions about Derek Draper’s past scandals. Draper, a former researcher for Blairite Peter Mandelson, gained prominence as a New Labour spin doctor in the 1990s. The infamous “Lobbygate” scandal, however, is what brought him into the limelight.

Draper, in collaboration with Liam Byrne, who later became an MP, established the New Labour organisation Progress. He was then appointed a director of the lobbying firm GPC Market Access in 1996. A recorded conversation of Draper boasting about his government connections to an undercover journalist during his tenure at GPC led to his downfall.

The then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, reportedly stated, “There are 17 people who count in this government, and to say I am intimate with all of them is the understatement of the century,” marking an early sleaze scandal for his administration. Despite acknowledging his “big mouth,” Draper defended his actions in what was deemed a “cash for access” incident. Following the controversy, he abandoned his political aspirations and relocated to the US for psychotherapy training.

Derek Draper’s Life and Legacy

Draper, once a brash lobbyist, passed away at 56 from the long-term effects of COVID-19. His life took a turn when he left politics and qualified as a psychologist, marrying renowned Good Morning Britain anchor, Kate Garraway. His departure from politics marked an end to an “unbalanced, stressed-out, empty existence” he had led in Westminster.

However, the controversies that had previously marred his reputation faded into the background when he was struck with a severe case of COVID-19 in March 2020. His health deteriorated to the point where he had to be admitted into an intensive care unit and placed into an induced coma. The virus caused permanent damage to his organs, necessitating continuous care even after his hospital discharge.

The ITV documentary Finding Derek aired in 2021, amplified public compassion for Draper and his family. The documentary featured his wife, Kate Garraway, candidly discussing the profound impact of severe COVID-19 on Draper and other patients, revealing her fears for the future.

Early Life of Derek Draper

Draper spent his early years in Chorley, Lancashire, attending Southlands High School until 1984. He then proceeded to further his studies at the University of Manchester and Runshaw College in Leyland. Draper had a deep-rooted interest in politics from a young age, as evidenced by a poster of Roy Hattersley, the deputy leader of the Labour Party, that hung in his student room. It was during this time that he met Charlotte Raven, with whom he would later have a romantic relationship. In 2005, he married television presenter Kate Garraway.