Don Foster

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Don Foster was the Liberal Democrat MP for Bath from 1992 until he stood down at the 2015 general election.

He has a BSc in Physics and Psychology from Keele University, and a masters degree in Education from the University of Bath. He has worked as a science teacher, and as science project director with the Avon Education Authority.[1]



Don Foster was one of 206 MPs to sign the March 2007 Early Day Motion 1240 calling for the positive recognition of NHS homeopathic hospitals[2].


In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Don Foster voted to keep the current time limit of 24 weeks in line with the scientific and medical consensus[3].

Mitochondrial Donation

In February 2015 Don Foster voted in favour of allowing mitochondrial donation, which would allow women who carried mitochondrial diseases to have genetically related children who would not inherit the disease[4]. An October 2014 briefing report by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which had been investigating the issue for three years, stated that there was no evidence to show that mitochondrial donation was unsafe[5]. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed[6]. After clearing both Houses mitochondrial donation is now legal, regulated by the HFEA.

MMR Vaccine

Don Foster signed the February 2009 Early Day Motion 754: MMR Vaccine and the Media supporting the use of the MMR vaccine. The motion expressed disappointment with the reporting of the vaccine by Jeni Barnett on her LBC radio show in January 2009, and expressed the hope that future reporting of the issue of MMR would be less sensationalist and more evidence-based.[7]

Climate Change

In 2006, MPs were asked three questions by the Rough Guide's Mark Ellingham on how seriously they took climate change as politicians and as responsible, active citizens. Don Foster replied:

"The Liberal Democrats agree that Climate Change is, as the Government's Chief Scientist Sir David King, has said, the greatest threat to mankind, even greater in the long term than terrorism. That is why the Liberal Democrats support a Climate Change Bill which would set binding, independently monitored, annual targets for reducing emissions."[8]

Science Funding

In October 2010, Don Foster signed Early Day Motion 767: Science is Vital Campaign. The motion stated that the house "believes that continued investment in research is vital in order to meet the technological and social challenges of the 21st century, and to continue to attract high-tech industries to invest here; further believes that large cuts to science funding are a false economy, due to evidence that research investment fuels economic growth".[9]

Libel Law Reform

In January 2010, Don Foster signed Early Day Motion 423 calling for a reform of the English libel law[10]. The motion noted that human rights activists, scientists, writers and journalists are currently prevented from publishing, and the public prevented from reading, matters of strong public interest due to the chilling effect of the law.

Letter on Defamation Bill, April 2013, reportedly near-identical (see first comment) to:

Same-Sex Marriage

Don Foster voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at both its second reading in February 2013[11] and its third reading in May 2013[12].



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