Tributes have been pouring in following the news Kate Garraway's husband, Derek Draper, has died.

The former lobbyist and political adviser died after suffering long-lasting symptoms from coronavirus.

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 a post on Instagram following the death of her husband, the Good Morning Britain presenter 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.”

Tributes to "brilliant and talented" Derek Draper

Former prime minister Sir Tony Blair paid tribute to Derek Draper following his death.

He said: “I am so sad to hear the news about Derek. My heart goes out to Kate and their children William and Darcey.

“It is extraordinary and remarkable that Derek survived so long after the ravages of Covid. And that was in large measure due to the love Derek had for his family and they for him. This also says something very special about Derek.

“He was a tough sometimes ruthless political operative, a brilliant adviser and someone you always wanted on your side.

“But underneath that tough exterior he was a loving, kind, generous and good natured man you wanted as a friend.

“He was an important part of the New Labour story, at the centre of things right at the beginning. But most important of all, he was a good colleague and great friend. And we will miss him deeply.”

Former Blair aide Alistair Campbell also paid tribute: "Very sad to hear the news about Derek Draper. He was a huge character, a giver not a taker, and had so much more to give before Covid took its toll. Sad above all for @kategarraway and the children. Their love and support was profound and unshakeable to the end. RIP".

Close friend Richard Hawkes, CEO of British Asian Trust, said: "Such tragic news about my great friend Derek Draper. He was the most brilliant and talented of people with a faster mind than anyone I have ever known. It was a privilege to be a close friend for 35 years. BBC News Kate Garraway says husband has died."

Garraway's employer, Smooth Radio, also commented: "We are sending all of our love to Kate Garraway following the heartbreaking news that her husband, Derek Draper, has died."

Colin McFarlane, voice of ITV's The Cube posted: "Just heard that Kate Garraway’s husband has lost his Covid battle. That is SO SO sad. He has fought so hard to be there for his family. My heart goes out to Kate and her children. She has been a tigress, they deserved a happy ending. Only 56, absolutely bloody heartbreaking".

Political commentator Owen Jones said: "I'm so sad to hear about this. Derek Draper came from a different Labour tradition to me, but he was always really charming, intellectually curious and mischievous. All my thoughts with the really lovely Kate Garraway, who gave everything to care for him. They were clearly completely in love to the very end. RIP"

Broadcaster Carol Vorderman posted on X: “Kate Garraway has just announced that her husband Derek has died and that she was ‘by his side holding his hand throughout the last long hours.’

“Sending my thoughts & love to Kate and their family.

“Heartbreaking, after the last years, they have lost the man they love so much”.