Donald Thompson, former MP and butcher


SIR DONALD THOMPSON, butcher by trade, noted manufacturer of black puddings, and MP for the Calder Valley from 1979 until 1997, died on 15th March, aged 73.

The Independent described Donald Thompson as "no parliamentary orator, he was a genial heavyweight of a man, remembered for his down-to-earth, bluff Yorkshire style and for the almost perpetual smile that lit up his face."

Locally, he was heavily associated with the Thatcher Government although he surprised many opponents by always courteously answering constituency letters, and seeing matters were taken up by the right department.

The Times saw "the genial Thompson's stout figure" suggestive of Billy Bunter, making him a favourite with Commons sketch writers who saw him as being like "an award-winning bullock"; "contemptuous of china-shop niceties"; and "solid as Leeds Town Hall".

On being sacked from the Ministry of Agriculture in the shuffle after the 1989 election, he bore no resentment against the prime minister, whom he addressed as "love", assuring colleagues: "There is no iceberg here, but a shire horse unharnessed and put out to grass on blue Conservative grass."



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