INDEPENDENT 2024-02-05 12:13:46


Kate Garraway praised after sharing husband’s final moments on GMB

Kate Garraway has been praised for her “bravery” after she shared her husband Derek Draper’s final moments with Good Morning Britain viewers.

On Monday (5 February), Garraway appeared onGMB for the first time since her husband’s funeral on Friday (2 February). Draper, a former political lobbyist, died on 3 January aged 56, nearly four years after he was admitted to the hospital with a severe case of Covid.

Reflecting on her final moments with her husband, Garraway said in the moving interview: “The children individually had time with Derek on their own as well as all of us together. Darcey said ‘Dad, if you can’t do this, then we will be OK. You release yourself if you need to go, don’t worry about us.’”

Garraway added that her children were “extraordinarily brave” on the day of Draper’s death.

Elsewhere in the interview, Garraway shared the final words her 17-year-old daughter Darcey told her father.

“We will be OK. Don’t worry about mum. We will be fine. You don’t have to worry about looking after us all. You will live on through us,” said Garraway, recalling Darcey’s words.

She revealed that her daughter “insisted” on carrying her father’s coffin at the funeral.

“Darcey came into the room when we were taking about [the funeral] and said ‘please can you let me carry the coffin?’ and I said crikey, that’s a practical challenge…. Anyone who’s ever done that, it’s a heavy thing….She basically insisted on doing it and I thought that was a beautiful thing.”

Garraway has been widely praised for her “strength” and openness about her experiences of grief and caring for a loved one.

TV presenter Lorraine Kelly said on her talk show, which airs shortly after GMB, that Garraway had “shone a light” on the reality of becoming a carer for a loved one and gave an “extraordinary interview” that would have made Draper “proud”.

Meanwhile, views have been praising Garraway for “speaking up” for carers.

“So moving to listen to Kate Garraway this morning, especially her speaking out for carers. Caring can be so lonely, even when there are others around. Very emotional, how brave she and her family are,” wrote on viewer on Twitter/X.

Another person added that the presenter displayed “strength and grace”.

Garraway had spent a significant portion of her time caring for Draper as he dealt with the effects of long Covid, which included requiring round-the-clock care.

On Friday (2 February) Garraway laid Draper to rest at a funeral held at the same London church where they were married 18 years ago.

Garraway was joined by her and Mr Draper’s children, Darcey and Billy, for the private service at the Church of St Mary The Virgin in Primrose Hill on Friday.

Among the many recognisable faces in attendance were Garraway’s ITV colleagues, including Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard, along with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, former prime minister Tony Blair and his wife, Cherie Blair, and Sir Elton John and his husband David Furnish.

Also present were TV stars including Piers Morgan, Alex Beresford, Robert Rinder, Fiona Phillips and her husband, This Morning editor Martin Frizell, and pop star Myleene Klass.

Garraway said: “I had the most beautiful letter handwritten from David and Victoria Beckham, their handwriting was so neat, and also had one from the royal family and Katherine and William sent me a letter.

“Also the King sent me one and he knows about grief but I just think it is lovely for them to reach out to me,” she added.

“Elton John sweetly sang the most beautiful song and we got Derek to see Elton John which was something he wanted to do.”

Days after Draper died, Garraway shared her gratitude for the public’s kind words with a video message on GMB.

“Hello everyone,” she said. “Thank you so much for all the wonderful messages that you have sent me. It really does mean so much to me, Darcey, Billy and all of Derek’s family.

“They are an extraordinary comfort and I’m so lucky to feel connected to you all through these messages at this time when the raw pain of grief can be so isolating.”

Garraway continued: “And that is the wonderful thing, isn’t it, about our Good Morning Britain family. That all of us on the team and all of you watching from home are connected, supporting each other through the challenges of life, knowing that we can also laugh at the fun and joys together that we share too.”

Tory rising star described Donald Trump as ‘refreshing’

A Tory rising star and ally of Liz Truss described US Presidential hopeful Donald Trump as “incredibly refreshing”.

Mhairi Fraser, the Conservative candidate to replace Chris Grayling in the safe seat of Epsom & Ewell, went to see the former US president win the 2016 election and said she had “never been as excited” about a politician.

Ms Fraser is a City lawyer and is among the figures set to speak at the launch of Ms Truss’s new Popular Conservatism Tory pressure group.

Other speakers at the event include Ms Truss and former business secretary Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg, while the group is supported by former Tory deputy chairman Lee Anderson and ex-ministers in the Truss government Simon Clarke and Ranil Jayawardena.

Ms Fraser told STV in 2016 that she found Mr Trump “incredibly refreshing” and that she agreed with his analysis that America was “sleepwalking into a politically correct driven decline”.

Her comments, rediscovered by The Times, show that she did “not see Russia as a natural enemy” and was more concerned about Islamic terrorism.

Ms Fraser also defended a series of controversial comments made by Mr Trump, saying: “I don’t think he’s a sexist and I don’t think he’s a racist.”

A friend of the Tory candidate told The Times: “These views were expressed eight years ago. A lot has changed since then and so, naturally, have her views.”

Senior Tories have thrown their weight behind Mr Trump’s campaign to return to the White House, including Sir Jacob.

He has said Joe Biden dislikes Britain and that his tenure so far has been “very bad” for UK-US relations.

Meanwhile right-wing Tory Andrea Jenkyns said the world would be a safer place if Mr Trump was returned to the White House, adding that she would like to see the “dynamic duo” of Boris Johnson and Mr Trump reunited.

The Popular Conservatism group, dubbed the PopCons, will set out its stall in London on Tuesday.

It is a platform for right-wing MPs to push Rishi Sunak to adopt hardline policies on immigration and tax before this year’s general election.

And it represents Ms Truss’s latest project since she was forced out of Downing Street.

Ms Fraser was last month confirmed as the candidate to replace Mr Grayling, who said in October that he would not stand at this year’s general election.

CBI settles case with sacked boss Tony Danker over misconduct claims

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has settled legal action brought by its former director-general who was fired last year following allegations about his behaviour.

The business group said it and Tony Danker have agreed an undisclosed settlement following his sacking from the post in April 2023. Mr Danker’s sacking came after he faced allegations about his behaviour in the workplace.

The claims were reported in the Guardian, and later other, more serious, allegations against different CBI staff emerged. That led to the biggest crisis in the organisation’s history.

When dismissing Mr Danker from his post, the CBI said his conduct “fell short of that expected” of its boss. It was not clear from the trade body’s statement what Mr Danker had included in his legal action.

A spokesman for the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said: “The CBI has today settled legal action brought against the organisation by Tony Danker after his dismissal in April 2023. The CBI board has agreed an undisclosed settlement with Mr Danker.

“The CBI board also reiterates that Mr Danker is not associated in any way with the historical allegations reported in the media concerning matters which pre-date his tenure at the CBI and rejects any such association.”

The allegations against CBI staff, which included two accusations of rape, pushed the group into a deep crisis.

Within hours of the second rape allegation being reported, dozens of the CBI’s biggest members suspended or withdrew their membership.

Meetings with ministers were also cancelled and the company said it was suspending all membership activities.

The extent of the damage to the group is evident in how it describes itself – a year ago it claimed to speak “on behalf of 190,000 businesses” but on Monday that figure was 170,000.

Grandmother killed in suspected dangerous dog attack days after ban

A grandmother has died after being attacked by two dogs described as XL Bullies while visiting her 11-year-old grandson in Essex.

Police were called to an address in Jaywick, Essex, after 4pm on Saturday where officers found the victim, named by her family as Esther Martin, seriously injured.

The 68-year-old, from Woodford Green, London, was pronounced dead at the scene. The attack is thought to have involved two XL bully-type dogs.

It comes just days after it became a criminal offence to own an XL Bully, with all existing dogs required to wear a muzzle and be kept on a lead.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council said they had been informed that around 40,000 dog owners had registered their pets since the ban was announced by Rishi Sunak in September.

But the Met also warned as many as 10,000 of the animals could be without a certificate of exemption, which is now required under law.

Abdul Ezedi ‘could have killed himself or be using an ally to stay hidden’

The Metropolitan Police have offered a £20,000 reward for information on chemical attack suspect Abdul Ezedi, as the manhunt enters its fifth day.

Officers have been searching for the 35-year-old since Wednesday after a 31-year-old and her daughters, aged eight and three, were attacked with a “very strong concentrated corrosive substance” in Clapham, south London.

The woman remains in a critical condition and is facing life-changing injuries.

It comes as a former senior police officer said that Ezedi could have taken his own life or be using an ally to stay hidden.

Nick Aldworth, a former national counter-terrorism co-ordinator, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think if we’ve not seen or heard from him in the the last couple of days, which appears to be the case, he’s gone to ground, possibly supported by somebody… or it’s not unlikely or improbable that he may have taken his own life.

Police investigators believe there are people who know Ezedi’s whereabouts and have not come forward. The convicted sex offender was last seen exiting Tower Hill Station at 9.33pm on Wednesday after travelling down from Newcastle that day.

Unmissable New York State experiences

It is time to fix the UK’s broken defence infrastructure

It was Admiral Beatty, commander at the Battle of Jutland in 1916, who uttered the famous complaint: “There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today.” His understandable frustration at the Royal Navy’s failure to destroy the German High Seas fleet was exacerbated by the fact that two of his ships exploded primarily due to poor design and with minimal firepower expended by the enemy.

Perhaps similar epithets could be heard in recent days around the Ministry of Defence when the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier broke down before it could leave Portsmouth harbour en route to lead the maritime arm of Steadfast Defender, a transatlantic exercise that is the biggest in decades and involves some 40 Nato allies.

The idea was that the Queen Elizabeth, built at a cost of some £3bn, would make a major contribution to a show of collective security and British maritime power in the face of Russian aggression. Sadly, that grand scheme was scuppered thanks to an “issue” with a propeller shaft. It should not have come as a great surprise to Beatty’s successors at the Admiralty, however, because Queen Elizabeth’s sister ship, Prince of Wales, suffered a similar fault 18 months ago. The development also calls into question whether a British carrier will be available to relieve the USS Dwight D Eisenhower in the Red Sea.

Has Keir Starmer scored own goal over Labour’s £28bn green spending?

On the same day thousands of Port Talbot steelworkers were told they would be losing their jobs, with the plant’s two blast furnaces closing down, Labour’s £28bn Green Prosperity Plan hit the headlines again.

The latest iteration of a story that has been doing the rounds for months popped up, with reports suggesting Sir Keir Starmer would ditch the hefty spending commitment.

The Port Talbot job losses, which will devastate the South Wales community, offered a visceral warning of the risk of failing to invest in future-proofing British industry.