- Jacqueline Foster
Foster was born in
Liverpooland educated at Prescot Girls' Grammar School. In 1969 she joined British European Airways' cabin services; remaining with the merged British Airwaysafter 1974. She was a member of the Transport and General Workers' Unionand from 1976 to 1979 served as trade union representative for cabin crew. In 1975 she married Peter Foster, but they divorced in 1981.
That same year, Foster left British Airways to be Area Manager (Austria) for Horizon Tours, a holiday company. After four years she returned to British Airways, again as cabin crew. In 1989, she was one of the founder members of Cabin Crew '89, an independent
trade unionwhich broke away from the TGWU, and served on the union executive.
Foster combined her trade union activities with active membership of the Conservative Party; she was Vice Chairman of Twickenham Conservative Association. In the 1992 general election, she was the Conservative candidate in Newham South, a Labour-held seat in east London. Against the national trend, Foster cut the Labour majority. She was shortlisted as candidate for Eastleigh in the byelection of 1994 but lost out in selection.
She continued to look for selection and in November 1995 was narrowly beaten by
Eric Forthin the selection for Bromley and Chislehurst. In August 1996 she succeeded, after 23 selection contests, in being selected for Peterborough, where sitting Conservative MP Brian Mawhinneywas moving to the adjacent seat. She moved to Peterboroughto fight the campaign; she was among the conservative candidates at that election who declared their personal opposition to the single European currency, but was defeated by Labour candidate Helen Brinton.
At the 1999 European Parliament election, Foster was selected by Conservatives in the North West as fifth on their list. She won the last seat available on the list system. She joined the Industry committee and the Transport (Aviation) Committee, and was Conservative group spokesman on transport from 2001. Foster tried to seek a ruling under European transport directives that the Mersey Tunnels Bill was illegal; the Bill allowed the
Merseyside Passenger Transport Executiveto make regular increases in the tolls for the tunnels, and to spend the money on transport elsewhere in Merseyside.
In 2002 Foster acted as rapporteur for a recommendation that airport staff be security screened when entering secure areas. The
European Parliamentagreed but the European Council of Ministersput off negotiations due to opposition by the governments of the Netherlands, Austria, Finlandand Germany. She supported moves to require airlines to compensate passengers 'bumped' from flights. In March 2003 she pointed out a loophole in laws requiring children to weat seatbelts, which did not apply on school buses.
Foster was reselected to fight the 2004 European Parliament election in fourth position on the Conservative list. However, she missed out on election when the Conservatives only won three seats. She set up her own firm of aviation consultants, Foster Jay Ltd., of which she became managing director. Remaining involved in politics, she declared her opposition to all-woman shortlists at the 2005 Conservative Party conference.
*"Who's Who", A & C Black
*"Debrett's People of Today"
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