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Wednesday, July 8, 1998 Published at 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK


Curriculum vitae: Derek Draper

[ image:  ]
Name: Derek Draper
Age: 29
Also known as:
Muttley (to Peter Mandelson's Dastardly);

Previous experience:
New Labour insider (although now seeing it from the outside)
Journalist (although now sacked from The Express)
Lobbyist (although now resigned from his firm, GPC Market Access)
Author of Blair's 100 Days (although one friend told The Guardian: "Derek would be the first to admit that it was terrible.")

Experience in media spotlight:
After years of toiling away in the Labour Party, and acting as a media commentator from within the Government camp, Draper was accused by The Observer of claiming unparalleled access into the heart of Government for his clients. Also allegedly told the paper that he let Peter Mandelson vet his Express column, although Mandelson denies this.

Memorable way with words:
"There are 17 people who count. And to say I am intimate with every one of them is the understatement of the century."

Memorable way with words, part II:
"I was being a bit bigheaded, but it's not a crime." Denies any wrongdoing, and accuses Observer of trying to entrap him.

Good contacts among his 17 intimate friends:
Oh, just Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, John Prescott, Jack Straw, Peter Mandelson, Alastair Campbell (Mr Blair's press secretary), among others.

Intimate friends prepared to defend him publicly:
Next question.

Skills of prediction:
Wrote in The Spectator that Rupert Murdoch would eventually come round to supporting the single European currency. That was blamed by some for inspiring The Sun's attack on Blair as Britain's most dangerous man. Draper still maintains that Murdoch will change his stand.

Humble boy made good:
"I came from a loving but poor working-class background. My parents never had any savings. Now I can help them. I do drink champagne and some people resent it," he told The Independent.

Peter Mandelson on Derek Draper
Peter Mandelson: "He has a fine intelligence, but sometimes I am afraid he misuses that intelligence. He gets above himself. But now he has been cut down to size and I think probably he will learn a very hard lesson from what has happened."
Unnamed university friend (quoted in The Guardian): He's "very, very clever".
Another unnamed friend: "The thing about Derek is that he doesn't give a damn."

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