The Man Behind David Thompson: Will He Prove To Be a Liability Yet Again?

Leroy ParrisIn recent days since the Budget was delivered in Barbados there has been heightened discussion about the readiness of David Thompson to take over the reigns of leadership. Is the DLP a government in waiting? A point of contention though is the many players who are sometimes referred to as “hangers-on” and the influence that they have on the leaders they associate. In the case of Prime Minister Arthur we have heard names like David Shorey, Hallam Nicholls and Rodney Wilkinson, however in the case of David Thompson there has always been the name Leroy Parris who is Chairman of CLICO Holdings in Barbados. Mr. Parris appears to be a man who Barbados loves to hate but in some strange way has firmly lodged himself as a power broker in Barbados.

Mr. Leroy Parris is the Executive Chairman of CLICO Holdings Barbados Ltd. He is also the Chairman of CMFC’s Board of Directors. Mr. Parris is a leader in the insurance industry and is one of a select group of persons worldwide to have been admitted to life time membership of the Million Dollar Round Table. CLICO Holdings (Barbados) Ltd controls and directs the group’s operations in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.

The very close relationship which he is reputed to have with David Thompson has concerned Barbados for many years and some political pundits do believe that the relationship has hurt David Thompson in his quest to assume the highest office in the land. The critical questions which David Thompson will have to answer is whether he thinks the continued close association with Leroy Parris represents value-added and if not is he prepared to jettison a man who has bragged to all who would listen about how he bought suits for David Thompson and was the one who taught him how to dress! It is known to insiders that should David Thompson win the next election Leroy Parris is expecting to be installed in the Upper Chamber of the land, the Senate. So would Barbadians welcome Parris as part of the DLP package or is the distrust of Parris and his strong Duprey connection too much for Barbadians to swallow at this time?

In the coming days and weeks ahead as the country switches from the debacle of the CWC 2007 and gears-up for upcoming elections the The Barbados Underground (BU) expects that Leroy Paris who despite his green verbs is known to be very resourceful will be pulling out all the stops to get his man on Bay Street. BU has learned that the check waving by David Thompson which for the first time in history caused beads of cold sweat to appear on the brow of Owen Arthur in his recent reply to the budget is directly linked to information he may have received from Leroy Parris. For those of us who know the man there is no doubt that we can expect more to come as he seeks to pull out the stops to ensure that his man gets the upper hand against Arthur.

What we can say is that David Thompson with the help of Leroy Parris has been able to amass a fortune and will not be coming to the Bay Street office a “beggar” – remember Owen was offered a job by ClICO when he was leader of the opposition and came very close to quitting politics on the $4,000.00 per month salary at the time. If my memory is correct he refused the job offer from CLICO and was bailed by Keith Rayside; coincidentally a company which is now owned by CLICO and controlled by Leroy Parris.

David Thompson perhaps like Richie Haynes will be leading his rejuvenated party for the “power and the glory”.

17 thoughts on “The Man Behind David Thompson: Will He Prove To Be a Liability Yet Again?

  1. Hello BU,

    Okay, from you article above, it looks to me like you are saying that the David Thompson is in Mr. Parris’ back pocket, all snug as a bug in a rug.

    Mr. Comissiong, take note, Mr. Parris is a black man, and he seems pretty elite to me. Moving around in the circles that he moves around in and managing CLICO and Rayside. So, Mr. Comissiong, in direct reference to your press release (mouse over to: we have black elites as well as white ones! All we need now are the pink-polka-dot elites!

    Anyhow back to the point that I am trying to make. BU, I am sure that the B’s have their own private sector friends, true or false?

  2. Indeed this may well be the case and greed will be around both parties for time to come. However it goes back to when we kn ow about something we are forced to act. When the DLP is in government then we cross that bridge.

  3. In the interest of equity, I think it only fair that BU do a similar article on Hallam Niccolls and his involvement with the PM. I hope this is not too much to ask?

  4. Thanks for your comment Kem but we can only present information as our sources deliver. If you have any such information please feel free to email us at We do not grind any political axes at BU, we intend to bring the news and let the people decide. We hope to hear from you and until we will make some telephone calls.

  5. QUOTE(Kem @ Apr 9 2007, 01:24 AM)
    I am interested to find out the extent to Hallam Niccol’s involvement with the Prime Minister, as I have heard this name mentioned already. Anyone can and care to elucidate please do so.

    I too would like to know. I have never seen a photo of him, or David Shorey, but i have seen Rodney Wilkinson, I even have a video of Owen and Rodney riding in a secret service escort in Boston, and sitting at a table to address Barbadians, over in away. There are lot of sound-bite statements that partisan individuals (mostly BLPites) latch onto and publicize as the truth, an example of such is the “Lunch money and bus fare, comment that is attributed to Thompson, and i am learning to distrust them until i am privy to the context in which they were first voiced. It is with this same view that i am questioning the mistrust and concern that seem so prevalent regarding Leroy Parris and David Thompson. I do not know that there is anything unusual in any relationships between these two. There isn’t any information in the public domain to suggest questionable dealings, possible corruption etc as there currently is concerning the relationships between Owen Arthur, David Shorey, Hallam Nicholls and Rodney Wilkinson. I would go further to suggest that our experience with some politicians from humble if not poor backgrounds (Owen and Barney)that has seen them embroiled in suspicious deals, relationships, and questionable wealth accumulation, while in office, should make it easy for citizens to tire of these rags to riches occurrences at the expense of the taxpayers. When i look critically and with a non-partisan eye to these things why would i not then look favorably at a politician who by all accounts has his millions (Thompy)? could this not be a hedge against the temptations of corruption that seems to have engulf any number of current ministers? David Thompson does not have access to the treasury, and Leroy Parris does not seem to be interested in the kind of deals that saw David Shorey, and others enriched themselves, if he did he could have chosen to enter such deals with the BLP, they (blp) have accepted his contributions in the past . I know for a fact that Leroy Parris has a philosophical view about who controls Barbados, what needs to be done about it, and has demonstrated a willingness to put his money where his mouth is. We could choose to mistrust him without real and factual cause, like we did Hillary Beckles, and thereby prolong the possibility of economic enfranchisement for all.

  6. Hi Adrian

    Thanks for your comment. I think you may be correct that Parris loves to pull strings for the high and not about power games. However Parris/CLICO attracts a rep in Barbados which is not flattering. Thompson must therefore be aware of any damage to his rep as a result.

    We have been making some calls about Hallam Nichols and we have learned a little. We will post soon.


  7. On April 9, 2007 at 1:26 pm David Said:
    Hi Adrian

    Thanks for your comment. I think you may be correct that Parris loves to pull strings for the high and not about power games. However Parris/CLICO attracts a rep in Barbados which is not flattering. Thompson must therefore be aware of any damage to his rep as a result.

    We have been making some calls about Hallam Nichols and we have learned a little. We will post soon.


    It would be helpfull if you could detail for us what informs your opinions, and leave us to think for ourselves.
    …..What is the genisis of this unflattering reputation that has been attributed Parris/CLICO? What has he done? what has he and the company been accused of? Indeed what is this unflattering reputation?????

    “I think you may be correct that Parris loves to pull strings for the high and not about power games.
    I cannot be correct about the above, I have not said it and i have no idea what it means. You have said sp please tell what YOU mean by the above???????

  8. heard a cabinet minister once said rodney wilkinson was a petty thief when you have hallam nicholls and david shorey you have monsterious thieves

  9. Hi PP

    I well remember in the 90s Wilkinson had to leave Barbados: I think he went into hiding in Anguilla and he resurfaced in the late 90s…ummmmmmmm now you have me thinking. Looks like we will have to ask some more questions!


    Hi Adrian

    I assume that you know of Parris and his burgeoning reputation : – ), it would take a long essay to write about the exploits of Parris which are now firmly embedded in Barbados folklore. I suggest you discuss with a CLICO past or current employee to understand for yourself.

  10. All of this is well anticipated BLP propaganda !

    Rodney Wilkinson SCREWED up the GEMS /HRL project got a ” GOLDEN HANDSHAKE ” and to this day no one ,save Owen Arthur , knows WHY and for WHAT ? reason.

    Many readers recall the late BREE St. John saying Wilkinson should be LOCKED – UP….!

    BU what is the criminal charge against…Leroy Parris…?

    To be successful by the DINT of your efforts and intelligence is now a CRIME in Barbados….?

  11. The one thing that has been established is that CLICO gives all political parties assistance. So when the PM said in the Budget that Clico gave David Thompson a copy of a cheque with a donation to him, what does that tell you? Why, then, is Parris more behind David Thompson than Owen Arthur?

    Clico’s largest investments have clearly come during the Owen Arthur period – Sam Lords, Villa Nova etc. If Parris could take Clico from where it was 15 years ago and make it what it is now – despite political odds against him for 12 of those years and the obvious prejudices that you reinforce in your article about green verbs – that story needs to be told to young black Barbadians!

    What then is the point BU is trying to make? That David Thompson is wrong to take advice or fraternise with a successful black entrepreneur? That a man born in a tenantry in St. John who has risen to prominence, is a liability?

    Will you criticise him for being friends with Neville Rowe too? Or the late Leo Leacock?

    Shuold he only fraternise with Sir John Goddard? And Tony King? And Kyffin Simpson? Or the Haloutes?

    Did David Thompson’s financial success come from working only for Clico? Come on, guys.

  12. Which political party will receive financial backing for this election; and would personal cheques be made out to……………………….?

  13. Pingback: CLICO Insurance Executive Appointed Chairman Of Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation «

  14. I have lived in Bim all my life, read the papers, now reading blogs. Can’t figure out yet what Mr. Parris has done except become successful and therefore a target for any and every body and his mother who feel like talking.
    For years I was wondering as well what the new PM David Thompson had done to the people of B’dos since one would keep hearing that you can’t trust him and that kind of talk. After all this time, I have still not discovered what these two eminent persons have done to be negatively commented upon every chance people get. Don’t we have strong friendships of our own? Can’t persons in politics be friends with whoever they choose as long as the friends are not criminals or such persons? Well, I know that I do not know anything therefore those who know everything can keep talking.

  15. David Thomson should explain what his condition was at Le-Chalet disco in St. Lucia in 2002 during the opening of Beusejour stadium and the one day matches between West Indies and New Zeland. Drunk and disorderly may be a clue.

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