George Foulkes MP

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development.

George Foulkes has represented Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley since 1979. His constituency includes the former Ayrshire coalfields, small fishing ports, almost all forms of agriculture and light industry. His majority of 21,062 was the largest in Scotland at the May 1997 election.

Before becoming Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State he was Opposition spokesman on Foreign Affairs (1983-92), Defence (1992-3) and Overseas Development (1994-97).

George Foulkes was born on 21 January 1942 and attended Keith Grammar and Haberdashers Aske's Schools. He is a graduate of Edinburgh University where he was President of the Students Representative Council (SRC). He then became full time president of the Scottish Union of Students and worked for the European Movement, Enterprise Youth and finally Age Concern Scotland before his election to Parliament.

In 1970 he stood for Parliament in West Edinburgh and in October 1974 in Edinburgh Pentlands against Malcolm Rifkind. From 1970-1975 he was a City Councillor in Edinburgh, where he also served as a Bailie (Magistrate). From 1974 to 1979 he was a member of Lothian Regional Council where he was Chair of the Education Committee and Chair of the Education Committee of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.

In Parliament he has been successively a Delegate to the Council of Europe, Member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee . He was a member of the CPA (UK) Executive, the Executive of the IPU (British Section) and Treasurer of Parliamentarians for Global Action. He remains a Trustee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA).

Outside the House of Commons he has been Chair of Scottish left wing think-tank the John Wheatley Centre, and Chair of the Labour Campaign for a Scottish Parliament. He is a member of the Cooperative Party, the GMB Union and the Fabian Society. He is married to Elizabeth Anna (nee Hope) who is Deputy Provost of South Ayrshire Council. They have three grown up children (Roderick, Jennifer and Alexander). His leisure pursuits include supporting Heart of Midlothian FC where he and his two sons are season ticket-holders.

DFID, January 1998