British director Ken Loach has criticised plans to hold a lavish funeral for former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Baroness Thatcher passed away after suffering a stroke on Monday (08Apr13), and British officials have granted her a ceremonial funeral, one rung down from a state funeral which is usually reserved for monarchs, with full military honours.

However, celebrated filmmaker Loach is adamant a high-profile funeral will cause unnecessary tension because Thatcher's controversial policies divided the nation and she remains unpopular in some sections of British society.

Loach even suggests her funeral arrangements should be inspired by her tough economic policies.

He released a statement, obtained by Britain's The Guardian, which reads, "Margaret Thatcher was the most divisive and destructive Prime Minister of modern times. Mass unemployment, factory closures, communities destroyed - this is her legacy. She was a fighter and her enemy was the British working class...

"How should we honour her? Let's privatise her funeral. Put it out to competitive tender and accept the cheapest bid. It's what she would have wanted."

Next Wednesday (17Apr13), Thatcher's coffin will be drawn through the streets of London by a gun carriage from St Clement Danes chapel to St Paul's Cathedral, where a funeral ceremony will be held.