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Don Foster, Baron Foster of Bath

  (Redirected from Don Foster (politician))

Donald Michael Ellison Foster, Baron Foster of Bath, PC (born 31 March 1947), is a British Liberal Democrat politician who represented Bath, Somerset as its constituency MP from 1992 until 2015.

The Lord Foster of Bath

Don Foster Minister.jpg
Liberal Democrat Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Spokesperson
In office
October 2016 – June 2017
LeaderTim Farron
Preceded byLorely Burt
Succeeded byLord Fox
Government Deputy Chief Whip
in the House of Commons
In office
7 October 2013 – 11 May 2015
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Chief WhipBaron Young of Cookham
Michael Gove
Preceded byAlistair Carmichael
Succeeded byAnne Milton[1]
Comptroller of the Household
In office
7 October 2013 – 11 May 2015
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byAlistair Carmichael
Succeeded byGavin Barwell[2]
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State
for Communities and Local Government
In office
4 September 2012 – 7 October 2013
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byAndrew Stunell
Succeeded byStephen Williams
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
7 October 2015
Life peerage
Member of Parliament
for Bath
In office
9 April 1992 – 30 March 2015
Preceded byChris Patten
Succeeded byBen Howlett
Personal details
Donald Michael Ellison Foster

(1947-03-31) 31 March 1947 (age 72)
Preston, Lancashire, England
Political partyLiberal Democrats
Alma materUniversity of Keele
University of Bath

From October 2013 to May 2015 he held the ex officio title of Comptroller of the Household as Liberal Democrat Chief Whip.[3] He was created Baron Foster of Bath, of Bath in the County of Somerset, in the 2015 Dissolution Honours,[4] becoming a member of the House of Lords.

Early lifeEdit

Foster was born in Preston, Lancashire, and attended the Lancaster Royal Grammar School before Keele University where he was awarded a BSc degree in physics and psychology in 1969, and also received the CertEd that same year. He later received an MEd in education at the University of Bath in 1981.

He was a science teacher at Sevenoaks School in Kent in 1969, before appointment as Avon Education Authority's Science Project Director in 1975 and as a Lecturer in Education at Bristol University in 1980, before being engaged as a management consultant with Pannell Kerr Forster from 1989 until his election to the House of Commons.

Parliamentary careerEdit

A local party activist, he was a founder member of the Avon Liberal Democrats and was elected as a Councillor on Avon County Council in 1981 for Cabot Ward, and was the SDP-Liberal Alliance Group Leader from 1981 to 1986. He also served as the county's education committee chairman, and remained a Councillor until 1989. He unsuccessfully contested Bristol East at the 1987 general election where he finished in third place, 11,659 votes behind the Conservative Jonathan Sayeed. He was elected at the 1992 general election when he defeated then-Conservative Party Chairman, Chris Patten, in the constituency of Bath; Foster won the seat with a majority of 3,768. Foster spoke of the World Heritage Site status of Bath and sent his best wishes to Patten in Hong Kong in his maiden speech on 12 May 1992.[5]

In Parliament, Foster was the Liberal Democrat Spokesman for Education under the leadership of Paddy Ashdown in 1992, in which capacity he served until 1999.

In December 2010, in response to a call from the Football Supporters' Federation, he introduced a Bill in Parliament for English and Welsh football safe standing areas, the first of its kind since the Taylor Report.[6]

Having been sworn of the Privy Council in 2010,[7] in September 2012 Foster was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government before being promoted in October 2013 as Government Deputy Chief Whip representing the Liberal Democrats in the Coalition.

In January 2014, Foster announced he would stand down as an MP at the following general election,[8] and now sits as a Liberal Democrat on the Opposition benches in the House of Lords. His Bath constituency was lost to the Conservatives at the 2015 general election, but regained by the Liberal Democrats in 2017.

Personal lifeEdit

His interests include Third World issues, being a member of Amnesty International and the Child Poverty Action Group as well as supporting a number of local charities, including Ted's Big Day Out and Julian House.[9] Lord Foster's main national charity is WaterAid and he has seen first hand their work in Ethiopia.[9] He is a Vice-President of the Debating Group,[10] and also enjoys sport, music, ballet, travelling and reading; Lord Foster also plays the ukulele.[11]

Foster was nominated for a life peerage in August 2015,[12] despite having previously favoured abolition of the House of Lords. When accused of hypocrisy, Foster stated: "I want to get rid of [the House of Lords] and the only way [to do that] having people there who will do just that."[13]

Styles of addressEdit

  • 1947–1992: Mr Don Foster
  • 1992–2010: Mr Don Foster MP
  • 2010–2015: The Rt Hon. Don Foster MP
  • 2015: The Rt Hon. Don Foster
  • 2015–: The Rt Hon. The Lord Foster of Bath PC


  • Resource Based Learning in Science by Don Foster, 1979, Association for Science Education ISBN 0-902786-52-0
  • Science with Gas by Don Foster, 1981
  • Aspects of Science by Don Foster, 1984, Longman ISBN 0-201-14377-1
  • Reading about Science by Don Foster, 1984
  • Nuffield Science by Don Foster, 1986
  • Teaching Science 11–13 Edited by Don Foster, Cecil Powell and Roger Lock, 1987, Routledge ISBN 0-7099-4931-6
  • Education: Investing in Education by Don Foster, 1994, Liberal Democrat Publications ISBN 1-85187-243-4
  • Making the Right Start: Nursery Education and Care by Don Foster, 1994, Liberal Democrat Publications ISBN 1-85187-264-7
  • From the Three Rs to the Three Cs: A Personal View of Education by Don Foster, 2003 ISBN 0-9546078-0-5

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Deputy Chief Whip, Treasurer of HM Household - Anne Milton". 13 May 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  2. ^ "Gavin Barwell given ancient Government role after holding on to Croydon Central seat". Your Local Guardan. 13 May 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  3. ^ Ministerial appointments 7 October 2013
  4. ^ "No. 61377". The London Gazette. 13 October 2015. p. 19146.
  5. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 12 May 1992".
  6. ^ "Safe Standing Bill launched in Parliament".
  7. ^ "Privy Counsellors". Privy Council Office. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  8. ^ "Liberal Democrat MP for Bath Don Foster to stand down". BBC News. 9 January 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  9. ^ a b "Don Foster MP" (PDF). Political Developments Ltd. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  10. ^ "The Debating Group". Archived from the original on 5 April 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  11. ^ "Our big gig". Liberal Democrat Voice. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  12. ^ "Dissolution Peerages 2015". Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  13. ^ "Don Foster to accept "ludicrous" Lords peerage". 28 August 2015. Retrieved 28 August 2015.

External linksEdit