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Tributes pour in for legendary draper Derek Lobbyist

Tributes have been pouring in following the death of Derek Lobbyist, who rose to the very top of the drapers' industry during the premiership of Tony Blair.

A spokesman for the Office of Mr Blair wrote: "He was a tough and sometimes ruthless draper, but no one in the trade compared to Derek. He was a legend. Cloth, curtains - he could drape the lot."

Mr Lobbyist rubbed shoulders with major players in the Labour hierarchy of the 1990s, discussing attractive interior decor options with key members of the National Executive Committee.

He fell from grace in the "Draper-Gate" scandal, when he was caught by undercover journalists boasting that he could provide fabrics and furnishings to almost any minister in the Blair cabinet.

But even after that, he remained a force in UK drapery.

"I reckon Derek could have won the contract to do all those plush curtains and whatnot that Carrie wanted in Number Ten," said an anonymous reporter for the trade magazine, The Draper.

"But Derek would never have draped for the Tories."

After an entire career devoted to draping, Mr Lobbyist leaves behind him 400 sets of velvetine swish curtains, 700 imitation silk nylon coverlets and 2,000 bolts of merino-style rayon cloth.

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