He was educated at Pangbourne Nautical College and the University of Southampton. He served as Conservative MEP for Derbyshire from 1979 to 1984, and for Surrey West from 1989 to 1994, and for Surrey from 1994 to 1999. He was leader of the UK Conservative MEPs from 1995 to 1998 and Chairman of the Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee from 1997 to 1999.
He decided not to stand for re-election to the European Parliament in 1999 after being found with gay pornography and two cannabis cigarettes in his luggage at Heathrow Airport. Spencer acknowledged being gay and said that his wife was aware of that before they married. Spencer was in a relationship with porn actor Cole Tucker, who was depicted in the porn found in Spencer's luggage.
He has since written a book of essays, Public Affairs and Power.
Partly based on a Wikipedia article.
- Dod's Parliamentary Companion 1997}
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/269329.stm BBC News "Drugs scandal MEP quits" 31 January 1999
- http://www.thefreelibrary.com/HIV+shock+for+wife+of+drug+bust+Tory.-a060423191 Gary Morgan, "HIV shock for wife of drug bust Tory" Scottish Daily Record & Sunday 2 February 1999