Don Foster, Baron Foster of Bath
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Don Foster, Baron Foster of Bath

The Lord Foster of Bath

Official portrait of Lord Foster of Bath crop 2.jpg
Liberal Democrat Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Spokesperson

October 2016 - June 2017
LeaderTim Farron
Lorely Burt
Lord Fox
Government Deputy Chief Whip
in the House of Commons

7 October 2013 - 11 May 2015
David Cameron
Chief WhipBaron Young of Cookham
Michael Gove
Alistair Carmichael
Anne Milton[1]
Comptroller of the Household

7 October 2013 - 11 May 2015
David Cameron
Alistair Carmichael
Gavin Barwell[2]
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State
for Communities and Local Government

4 September 2012 - 7 October 2013
David Cameron
Andrew Stunell
Stephen Williams
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal

7 October 2015
Life peerage
Member of Parliament
for Bath

9 April 1992 - 30 March 2015
Chris Patten
Ben Howlett
Personal details
Donald Michael Ellison Foster

(1947-03-31) 31 March 1947 (age 73)
Preston, Lancashire, England
Political partyLiberal Democrats
Alma materUniversity of Keele
University of Bath

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

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 life

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 career

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 first elected in the constituency of Bath at the 1992 general election when he defeated then-Conservative Party Chairman, Chris Patten with a majority of 3,768. In his maiden speech on 12 May 1992, Foster spoke of the World Heritage Site status of Bath and sent his best wishes to Patten in Hong Kong.[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 won by the Conservatives at the 2015 general election and regained by the Liberal Democrats in 2017.

Personal life

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]


  • 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 also


  1. ^ "Deputy Chief Whip, Treasurer of HM Household - Anne Milton". 13 May 2014. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  2. ^ "Gavin Barwell given ancient Government role after holding on to Croydon Central seat". Your Local Guardan. 13 May 2014. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  3. ^ Ministerial appointments 7 October 2013 Archived 7 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "No. 61377". The London Gazette. 13 October 2015. p. 19146.
  5. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 12 May 1992". Archived from the original on 7 March 2018. Retrieved 2017.
  6. ^ "Safe Standing Bill launched in Parliament". Archived from the original on 30 December 2010. Retrieved 2011.
  7. ^ "Privy Counsellors". Privy Council Office. Archived from the original on 13 July 2019. Retrieved 2016.
  8. ^ "Liberal Democrat MP for Bath Don Foster to stand down". BBC News. 9 January 2014. Archived from the original on 10 January 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  9. ^ a b "Don Foster MP" (PDF). Political Developments Ltd. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 January 2014. Retrieved 2013.
  10. ^ "The Debating Group". Archived from the original on 5 April 2015. Retrieved 2019.
  11. ^ "Our big gig". Liberal Democrat Voice. Archived from the original on 9 October 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  12. ^ "Dissolution Peerages 2015". Archived from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 2015.
  13. ^ "Don Foster to accept "ludicrous" Lords peerage". 28 August 2015. Archived from the original on 30 October 2018. Retrieved 2015.

External links

Video clips
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Chris Patten
Member of Parliament
for Bath

Succeeded by
Ben Howlett
Political offices
Preceded by
Alistair Carmichael
Government Deputy Chief Whip
in the Commons

Succeeded by
Anne Milton
Comptroller of the Household
Succeeded by
Gavin Barwell
Party political offices
Preceded by
Alistair Carmichael
Liberal Democrat Chief Whip
in the Commons

Succeeded by
Tom Brake
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by
The Lord Lupton
Baron Foster of Bath
Followed by
The Lord Hague of Richmond

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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