Derek Foster, Baron Foster of Bishop Auckland

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Foster
Shadow Minister for the Citizen's Charter
In office
19 October 1995 – 2 May 1997
Leader Tony Blair
Preceded by Michael Meacher
Succeeded by Michael Heseltine
Chief Whip of the Labour Party
In office
23 October 1985 – 19 October 1995
Leader Neil Kinnock
John Smith
Margaret Beckett
Tony Blair
Preceded by Michael Cocks
Succeeded by Donald Dewar
Member of Parliament
for Bishop Auckland
In office
3 May 1979 – 5 May 2005
Preceded by James Boyden
Succeeded by Helen Goodman
Personal details
Born (1937-06-25) 25 June 1937 (age 77)
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Religion Salvationist

Derek Foster, Baron Foster of Bishop Auckland, PC, DL (born 25 June 1937)[1] was the British member of Parliament for Bishop Auckland, County Durham from 1979 to 2005.[1] He is a member of the Labour Party.

Foster was Chief Whip of the opposition between 1985 and 1995, becoming a member of the Privy Council in 1993. After Tony Blair became leader in 1994, he was keen to appoint a new Chief Whip and asked Foster to stand aside, in return for the promise of a seat in the Cabinet if and when Labour returned to power. Foster eventually agreed and became Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in 1995.

However when Labour won the 1997 election, Foster was appointed to the relatively junior role of Parliamentary Secretary in the Cabinet Office, under David Clark. After giving the matter further thought, Foster stood down from the government after just two days, and later publicly accused Mr Blair of having broken his promise to him. He was eventually appointed chair of the Commons sub-committee on employment, becoming something of a thorn in the Government's side during Mr Blair's first term. But the employment sub-committee was abolished in 2001 and he became a backbencher, retiring from the Commons at the 2005 general election. On 13 May 2005 it was announced that he would be created a life peer, and in June 2005 the peerage was gazetted as Baron Foster of Bishop Auckland, of Bishop Auckland in the County of Durham.[2]

Foster also has associations with The Salvation Army, serving at the Sunderland Millfield Corps, whilst also a member of the Labour Friends of Israel Policy Council.


Arms of Derek Foster, Baron Foster of Bishop Auckland
Coronet of a Baron
An Auk Azure beaked and supporting with the dexter foot a Crozier Or
Azure two Pallets interlaced with two Barrulets Or all between four Mitres Argent
On either side an Otter statant erect Azure supporting with the exterior forepaw and blowing a Trumpet Or
The association of Durham with a gold cross on an Azure field is featured in a varied form in the Arms. The cross formation is placed between four mitres as a punning allusion on Bishop Auckland. Punning on Bishop Auckland is also extended into the Crest. In addition to being an industrious animal, the otter is associated with rivers and Bishop Auckland is sited on the River Wear. It is depicted in association with trumpets as the grantee has a particular interest in brass bands.


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
James Boyden
Member of Parliament for Bishop Auckland
Succeeded by
Helen Goodman