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Last updated: 02 November, 2010 - Published 20:07 GMT
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State funeral for David Thompson
David Thompson
Prime Minister Thompson passed away on 23 October
A state funeral is being held in Barbados today for the late prime minister David Thompson.

Mr Thompson, 48, died 23 October from pancreatic cancer.

Dignitaries from across the Caribbean and further afield will be present to pay their last respects.

Around 10,00 people are expected to attend the state funeral being held at the Oval Cricket Grounds in Bridgetown.

Mr Thompson had been ailing for sometime, the extent of which became noticeable in a loss of weight and long absences from office.

It was later disclosed, on his approval, that he was suffering from pancreatic cancer, a malignant disease with an historically poor prognosis for recovery.

Mr Thompson had disclosed that he had been suffering with stomach pains since early March 2010.

You can follow the state funeral by clicking on the link to BBC Caribbean partner station, CBC Barbados, at the top right of this page

Profile in politics

David John Howard Thompson, the sixth prime minister of Barbados, was born on Christmas Day, 1961, in England but grew up in Barbados.

After a long career in law and politics he was elected prime minister of Barbados on January 15 2008.

He came to politics in a 1987 by-election after the death of then prime minister Errol Barrow, by retaining the St John seat for the Democratic Labour Party (DLP). He has held on to that seat since then.

David Thompson got his first cabinet appointment in 1991 when he served as Minister of Community Development and Culture and then finance until early general elections were called in 1994.

State funeral timetable
08.00 Start of ceremony at The Oval Cricket Grounds where over 10,000 people will gather
08.25 Procession starts from funeral home to The Oval
09.00-09.30 Tributes
09.30-11.10 Church service
11.10-11.45 Procession to St John’s Parish Church
11.45-13.00 Funeral at St John’s Parish Church

He took over the leadership of the party that year, when it lost the government.

The DLP remained in opposition until Mr Thompson led it to a convincing 20-10 win over the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) in January 2008, ending the BLP's 13 unbroken run in government.

Thompson's DLP came into office on a mandate of lowering the cost of living, improving healthcare, and tackling crime.

His coming into office was however marked by the global economic crisis and credit crunch for which he - unlike many of his Caribbean counterparts - against overzealous belt-tightening, putting the onus on government and the private sector to stimulate the economy.


David Thompson attended Barbados' Combermere School before going on to study law at the University of the West Indies.

He subsequently became a Queen's Counsel.

David Thompson was born in London to Charles Thompson, a porter and painter and his mother, Margaret Knight, a secretary and nurse. He was brought up with his six siblings at Fitts Village, St James.

He is survived by his wife, their three children, and his parents and five brothers.

Brief timeline

2008 January - Parliamentary elections won by opposition Democratic Labour Party. David Thompson becomes prime minister.

2009 March - PM David Thompson survives no-confidence vote brought over his handling of financial crisis precipitated by collapse of Trinidad-based insurance company Clico - the region's biggest casualty of the global financial crisis.

2010 September - PM David Thompson confirmed to have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

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