Jacqueline Foster

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The Baroness Foster of Oxton
Official Portrait, 2021
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
29 January 2021
Life peerage
Deputy Leader of the Conservative MEPs in the European Parliament
In office
20 November 2013 – 1 July 2019
Member of the European Parliament for North West England
In office
4 June 2009 – 1 July 2019[1][2]
Preceded byDavid Sumberg
Succeeded byChris Davies
In office
10 June 1999 – 10 June 2004
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded bySajjad Karim
Personal details
Jacqueline Renshaw

(1947-12-30) 30 December 1947 (age 76)
Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Political partyConservative

Jacqueline Foster, Baroness Foster of Oxton, DBE (née Renshaw) is a British Conservative politician and a former Member of the European Parliament for the North West England region.

In October 2019 she was appointed Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. In January 2021, she was appointed as a life peer in the House of Lords as Baroness Foster of Oxton, of Oxton in the County of Merseyside.[3][4]

Early life and career[edit]

Jacqueline Foster was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, on 30 December 1947 to Samuel and Isabella Renshaw. Foster was educated at Prescot Grammar School for Girls.[5][6]

She worked for British Airways for more than 20 years. Before joining them, she worked in France and Spain in the tourism sector. Foster speaks French and German.

Between 1981 and 1985, she left British Airways and became area manager in Austria for Horizon, a British tour operator, before returning to British Airways. In 1989, she was one of the founder members of Cabin Crew '89, an independent trade union, and served as the Deputy General Secretary. She continued with British Airways until she was elected as an MEP in 1999.

Political involvement[edit]

Foster combined her trade union activities with membership of the Conservative Party, serving as Vice Chairman of Twickenham Conservative Association, as well as holding a variety of voluntary political offices for the Greater London area.

At the 1992 general election, she was the unsuccessful Conservative candidate in Newham South, a Labour-held seat in east London. In August 1996, she was selected for the marginal seat of Peterborough (where sitting Conservative MP Brian Mawhinney was moving to an adjacent constituency), and finished second behind Labour in the general election of 1997.

Member of the European Parliament[edit]

At the 1999 European Parliament election, Foster was selected by Conservatives in the North West as fifth on their list. During this first mandate (1999-2004), she was elected annually as the chairman of the Backbench Committee of MEPs. Her political responsibilities were as the Conservative Spokesman on Transport and Tourism (specialising in the Aviation Industry) Following the 9/11 attacks, she was the Rapporteur on the regulation which introduced minimum standards of security in airports across Europe. She was also a Member of the Trade and Industry Committee.

She was a member of the Sky & Space Parliamentary Intergroup, and also a Member of the Animal Welfare Parliamentary Intergroup.

In 2009, she was placed third on the Conservative list for the North West in the European Parliament election and was elected as an MEP.[7] She was again appointed as the Transport Spokesman, and also served as a Vice President of the Sky & Space and Animal Welfare Parliamentary Intergroups and as a Member of the EU-US Delegation. In addition, Foster sat as a member of the Environment Committee. She was elected Deputy Leader of the Conservative delegation of MEPs in 2013, and was re-elected annually until 2019.

In 2013, Foster argued against the Conservative Party having an electoral pact with UK Independence Party.[8]

Following the 2014 European election, she was re-appointed as a Transport Spokesman and also the Spokesman on Tourism. She was the draftsman of the 'Report on the Safe Use of RPAS' (drones) in the civil sector.[9] Foster remained on the Environment Committee. She was re-elected as a Vice-President of both the Sky & Space and Animal Welfare Parliamentary Intergroups. She remained a Member of the EU/US Parliamentary Delegation, and was elected Vice-President of the Australia/New Zealand Delegation with the focus on securing future trade deals.

Work outside of the European Parliament[edit]

Foster was not re-elected in the 2004 European election. She worked as a consultant for Airbus, before becoming the Head of European Affairs for ASD (Aerospace Space & Defence Industries of Europe) based in Brussels, until returning as an MEP in 2009.

Since 2019, Foster has been a senior advisor for the Drone Delivery Group.[10]

House of Lords[edit]

Foster was appointed Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2019 Birthday Honours. She was appointed to the House of Lords on 29 January 2021 and introduced on 9 February 2021.[11]

Legal dispute[edit]

In March 2024, Foster issued a public apology and paid damages to Melika Gorgianeh, a University Challenge contestant. Foster tweeted that the octopus soft toy which Gorgianeh's team used as a mascot, was chosen as an antisemitic symbol. Foster called for Gorgianeh to be expelled from university and arrested.[12] In her public apology Foster stated "I accept that these allegations were completely false and unfounded.[...] I again deeply apologise to Ms Gorgianeh for these allegations and any distress caused to her.[...] I have agreed to pay her substantial damages and costs."[13]

Personal life[edit]

In 1975, she married Peter Laurance Foster. The marriage was dissolved in 1981.[5]

She lists her recreations as skiing, travel and golf. Jacqueline Foster is a member of the Carlton Club.[5]


  1. ^ "Key dates ahead". European Parliament. 20 May 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Key dates ahead". BBC News. 22 May 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Political Peerages 2020". Gov.uk. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  4. ^ "Crown Office". The Gazette. 2 February 2021. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  5. ^ a b c "Foster of Oxton, Baroness, (Jacqueline Foster), Member (C) North West Region, European Parliament, 1999–2004 and 2009–19". WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.u16203. Retrieved 7 March 2024.
  6. ^ Dod's European Companion. Dod. 2003. ISBN 978-0-905702-37-7.
  7. ^ "European elections 2009: North West region". The Telegraph. 26 May 2009. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  8. ^ "Farage: Tory MPs want UKIP deal". BBC News. 1 October 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  9. ^ "Jacqueline Foster on new rules for drones: 'The key here is to ensure their safe use" [sic]". European Parliament. 29 October 2015. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  10. ^ "Lords Register of Interests". 30 March 2023. Retrieved 30 March 2023.
  11. ^ "No. 62666". The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 June 2019. p. B8.
  12. ^ Walker, Peter (6 March 2024). "Tory peer pays damages after alleging University Challenge mascot was antisemitic". The Guardian. London.
  13. ^ Nicolaci da Costa, Ana (6 March 2024). "University Challenge student gets payout from Tory peer over antisemitism claim". BBC News.