Don Foster MP
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About Don

Don’s Biography

Don Foster has been the Member of Parliament representing Bath for 20 years. A well respected and experienced MP, in October 2013 he was appointed Liberal Democrat Chief Whip and Deputy Government Chief Whip. He lives in Bath and has been married to Victoria Jane since 1968, they have a son and a daughter and three grandchildren.

Don became the MP for Bath after he was elected at the 1992 General Election when he famously beat then-Chairman of the Conservative Party Chris Patten. He was initially motivated to get involved in politics to stand against the fascist movement, but he was also spurred by his dismay at the treatment of the elderly. These motivations were indicative of his underlying commitment to fairness and equality, which he has continually campaigned for throughout his career.

Born in Preston, Lancashire, and educated at the Lancaster Royal Grammar School, Donald Michael Ellison Foster studied at Keele University where he was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in physics and psychology in 1969. He also received the Certificate in Education, and later studied for his master’s degree in education at the University of Bath in 1981.

Education is very important to Don and has been central to his life. He became a science teacher at the Sevenoaks School in Kent in 1969, before becoming a science project director with the Avon Education Authority and a lecturer in education at the University of Bristol in 1980. In parliament Don became a spokesman on education under the leadership of Paddy Ashdown in 1992 in which capacity he remained until 1999. He has authored several publications including a ‘From the Three Rs to the Three Cs: A Personal View of Education’ in 2003.

As a local party activist he was a founding member of the Avon Liberal Democrats, he was elected as a councillor to the Avon County Council in 1981 for Cabot ward, and was the SDP-Liberal Alliance group leader from 1981-6. He also served as the county’s Education Committee Chairman, and he remained a councillor until 1989.

Don is also interested in issues in the developing world; he is a member of Amnesty International and the Child Poverty Action Group. He also supports a number of local charities, including Ted’s Big Day Out, Julian House. His main national charity is Water Aid and he has seen first hand their work in Ethiopia and Tanzania.

Links to charities that Don supports: Ted’s Big Day Out, Julian House and Water Aid