Don Foster MP

Don Foster MP - 10/267 - Bath's #1 Supporter

Foster welcomes Gary McKinnon decision

October 17, 2023 by Don Foster MP in News

Gary McKinnon will not be extradited to the US, the Home Secretary announced yesterday. Following the decision, Nick Clegg ordered a review into the US-UK extradition treaty. The review panel will be chaired by former Lib Dem leader and QC, Sir Menzies Campell, who has called into doubt the conclusions of the Baker Review into extradition arrangements with US.

Reacting to the news, Don Foster said:

“I’m absolutely delighted by the Home Secretary’s decision to withdraw Gary’s extradition order.

“I have always been unequivocal: Gary McKinnon should not be extradited. And I, as well as thousands of others, lobbied the Home Secretary not to sanction the extradition.

“I want to congratulate Gary and his mother Janis on their deserved victory. They have campaigned tirelessly and I pay tribute to their strength and determination.

“I’m also pleased that Nick Clegg has ordered a review of our extradition treaty with the US. We’ve known since its inception that it is unbalanced, and Gary’s case has served to highlight this. I hope we’ll finally see a fairer treaty, which protects the rights of Britons.”

Don Foster accosted by Age UK flash mob

October 3, 2023 by Don Foster MP in Don in Bath, News

Bath MP Don Foster got a surprise while returning to his constituency office on Monday. 30 members of Age UK Bath and North East Somerset formed a flash mob and descended on central Bath to mark UN International Older People’s Day.

The group, whose ages range from late 50s to their late 80s, ran through Tai Chi exercises at Kingsmead Square outside Age UK Bath and North East Somerset’s offices and outside Marks and Spencers on Stall Street. There was also a collection in aid of the charity’s popular Fit as a Fiddle programme.

The Fit as a Fiddle programme now runs 7 Tai Chi classes around the Bath and North East Somerset area. Fit as a Fiddle also offers activities such as walking groups, Culture Club and beginner computer classes to encourage ‘silver surfing’. Lottery funding for the project has just run out and its future is uncertain.

Flashmobber Jackie Woodland said, “I’ve always wanted to do something like this. My 14 year-old granddaughter is green with envy.” Another, Reverend Chris Moorhouse, said, “It gave us a chance to poke a finger in the eye of old age.”

Programme co-ordinator Paula Smith said, “Fit as a Fiddle gets referrals from health services such as St Martin’s Hospital, particularly for falls prevention. We’re delighted with people’s reaction to it and it’s fair to say none of our Tai Chi-ers ever expected to be in a flashmob!”

Foster, who was happy to show his support, said, “Age UK does fantastic work in Bath. Older people are often forgotten, but events like these remind us that older people are still capable of having fun and staying active. It’s certainly made an impression on the younger generations.”

Pictures of the flashmob can be seen on www.ageukbanes.co.uk and at www.facebook.com/#!/AgeUkBathAndNorthEastSomerset.

Live Music Act becomes law

October 1, 2023 by Don Foster MP in Don in Parliament, News

The Live Music Act, which deregulates entertainment licensing in the UK, became law today.

The change in law, which will see venues in the UK with a capacity of under 200 people no longer needing a licence for live music, is part of a government move to free businesses from red tape, which ministers say will give them more freedom to grow.

The change was introduced through a private member’s bill, introduced by Lib Dem MP Don Foster, in order to strip back some of the bureaucracy imposed on gigs by the 2003 Licensing Act. The Bath MP steered the Live Music Bill through the House of Commons on behalf of his Lib Dem colleague, Lord Clement Jones, and is a rare example of a House of Lords Private Member’s Bill making it into law.

UK Music, which represents the music industry, estimates that the Live Music Act could enable 13,000 more venues to start holding live music events, and means many venues will no longer need to pay for a licence to host live music between 08:00 and 23:00.

Mr Foster stated: “This is a great day for live music. The Act will help cut the excessive red tape that currently surrounds the entertainment industry, and reverse the adverse effects of the 2003 Licensing Act.” He went on to state that “hopefully this Act will build on future entertainment law, and enable live music, artists and amateur arts groups throughout the UK to flourish”.