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|Use attributes for filter !|
|Death||14 years ago|
|Date of birth||February 13,1922|
|Date of died||March 7,2008|
|Books||The politics of consent|
|Francis Jonathan Pym|
|Date of Reg.|
|Date of Upd.|
Francis Leslie Pym, Baron Pym, MC, PC, DL was a British Conservative politician who served in various Cabinet positions in the 1970s and 1980s, including Foreign, Defence and Northern Ireland Secretary, and Leader of the House of Commons. He was Member of Parliament for Cambridgeshire from 1961 to 1987.
Francis Leslie Pym, Baron Pym, (13 February 1922 – 7 March 2008) was a British Conservative politician who served in various Cabinet positions in the 1970s and 1980s, including Foreign, Defence and Northern Ireland Secretary, and Leader of the House of Commons. He was Member of Parliament (MP) for Cambridgeshire (South East Cambridgeshire after 1983) from 1961 to 1987. Pym was made a life peer in 1987.
Pym was born at Penpergwm Lodge, near Abergavenny in Monmouthshire. His father, Leslie Pym, was also an MP, while his grandfather, the Rt Revd Walter Pym, was Bishop of Bombay. He was not a direct descendant of the 17th-century parliamentarian John Pym as has been commonly held (see Pym's own published family history), but a collateral descendant.He was educated at Eton, before going on to Magdalene College, Cambridge. For much of the Second World War, Pym served in North Africa and Italy as a captain and regimental adjutant in the 9th Lancers. He was mentioned in despatches twice, awarded the Military Cross, and ended his military service as a major. Pym was a managing director and landowner before he went into politics.
Pym entered politics as a member of Herefordshire County Council in 1958. He contested Rhondda West without success in 1959 and entered Parliament in 1961 at a by-election as MP for Cambridgeshire. He held the seat until 1983, and thereafter was MP for South East Cambridgeshire until 1987. He was an opposition whip from 1964 and served under Edward Heath as Government Chief Whip (1970–1973) and Northern Ireland Secretary (1973–1974), and Margaret Thatcher as Defence Secretary (1979–1981), Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council (1981–1982). He became foreign secretary during the Falklands War in 1982 following Lord Carrington's resignation, but was removed by Thatcher the following year after her second election victory.
Pym was a leading member of the "wets", Conservative MPs skeptical of Thatcherism. During the 1983 general election campaign he said on the BBC's Question Time that "Landslides don't on the whole produce successful governments". This was publicly repudiated by Thatcher and he was sacked after the election. Shortly afterwards, he launched a pressure group called Conservative Centre Forward to argue for more centrist, one-nation policies but with Thatcher at the height of her powers, it was unsuccessful. He stood down at the 1987 election and was created a life peer as Baron Pym (of Sandy in the County of Bedfordshire) on 9 October 1987.He was the author of The Politics of Consent, published in 1984 after he left the government. The book is a guide to the Wets' opposition to Thatcher's leadership style and politics.He was portrayed by Jeremy Child in the 2002 BBC production of Ian Curteis's The Falklands Play, by Julian Wadham in the 2011 film The Iron Lady and by Guy Siner in the fourth series of The Crown.
Pym died in Sandy, Bedfordshire, on 7 March 2008 after a prolonged illness, aged 86.
He was survived by his wife, Valerie (1929–2017), whom he married on 25 June 1949, and their four children.
Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Francis Pym
Portraits of Francis Pym at the National Portrait Gallery, London
Obituary, The Guardian, 7 March 2008
Obituary, The Times, 8 March 2008
Obituary, The Independent, 8 March 2008
Obituary, The Daily Telegraph, 8 March 2008