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The Right Honourable
 The Lord Pym
 MC PC


In office
6 April 1982 – 11 June 1983
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by The Lord Carrington
Succeeded by Sir Geoffrey Howe

In office
14 September 1981 – 6 April 1982
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by The Lord Soames
Succeeded by John Biffen

In office
5 January 1981 – 6 April 1982
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by Norman St. John-Stevas
Succeeded by John Biffen

In office
5 January – 14 September 1981
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: Norman St. John-Stevas
Paymaster-General: Angus Maude
Succeeded by Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: The Lady Young
Paymaster-General: Cecil Parkinson

In office
4 May 1979 – 5 January 1981
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by Frederick Mulley
Succeeded by John Nott

In office
2 December 1973 – 4 March 1974
Prime Minister Edward Heath
Preceded by William Whitelaw
Succeeded by Merlyn Rees

In office
20 June 1970 – 2 December 1973
Prime Minister Edward Heath
Deputy Humphrey Atkins
Treasurer of the Household
Preceded by Bob Mellish
Succeeded by Humphrey Atkins

Born 13 February 1922(1922-02-13)
Penpergwm, Monmouthshire
Died 7 March 2008 (aged 86)
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Alma mater Eton College
Magdalene College, Cambridge

Francis Leslie Pym, Baron Pym MC, PC (13 February 1922 – 7 March 2008) was a British Conservative Party politician who, during his political career, held several Cabinet positions.

He was born at Penpergwm Lodge, near Abergavenny in Monmouthshire, and was educated at Eton and Magdalene College, Cambridge. For much of World War II he served in North Africa and Italy as a Captain and regimental adjutant in the 9th Lancers and he was awarded the Military Cross; he ended his military service as a Major.

He was a managing director and landowner, and became a Councillor on Herefordshire County Council.

Contents

Political career

Pym contested Rhondda West without success in 1959 and entered Parliament in 1961 at a by-election as Member of Parliament for Cambridgeshire. He held the seat until 1983, and was MP for Cambridgeshire South East 1983–1987.

Pym was an Opposition whip from 1964 and served under Edward Heath as Government Chief Whip (1970–1973) and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (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 took up the role of Tory foreign secretary during the Falklands War in 1982 following Lord Carrington's resignation, but was removed from this role by Margaret Thatcher in 1983 after her second election victory.

He was regarded as a leading member of the Wets during the Thatcher administration. During the 1983 general election campaign he stated on the BBC's Question Time programme that he thought that "Landslides don't on the whole produce successful governments".[1] This was publicly repudiated by his party leader Margaret Thatcher.

Shortly afterwards, he launched a new pressure group called Conservative Centre Forward specifically to argue for more centrist, One Nation policies. But with Mrs Thatcher now 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. Pym was not a descendant of the 17th century Parliamentarian John Pym as has been commonly held. See Pym's own published family history. His father, Leslie Pym, was also a Member of Parliament; his grandfather, Rt. Rev. Walter Ruthven Pym, was Bishop of Bombay.

He died on 7 March 2008 after a prolonged illness, aged 86. [2]

In popular culture

Pym was the touchstone for the role of Chief Whip played by Peter Cartwright in the 1987-88 BBC TV sit-com Yes, Prime Minister.

Pym was portrayed by Jeremy Child in the 2002 BBC production of Ian Curteis's controversial The Falklands Play.

References

Bibliography

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Gerald Howard
Member of Parliament for Cambridgeshire
1961–1983
constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for South East Cambridgeshire
19831987
Succeeded by
James Paice
Political offices
Preceded by
Bob Mellish
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury
1970–1973
Succeeded by
Humphrey Atkins
Preceded by
William Whitelaw
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
1973–1974
Succeeded by
Merlyn Rees
Preceded by
John Davies
Shadow Foreign Secretary
1978–1979
Succeeded by
Peter Shore
Preceded by
Frederick Mulley
Secretary of State for Defence
1979–1981
Succeeded by
John Nott
Preceded by
Angus Maude
Paymaster-General
1981
Succeeded by
Cecil Parkinson
Preceded by
Norman St John-Stevas
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
1981
Succeeded by
The Baroness Young
Leader of the House of Commons
1981–1982
Succeeded by
John Biffen
Preceded by
The Lord Soames
Lord President of the Council
1981–1982
Preceded by
The Lord Carrington
Foreign Secretary
1982–1983
Succeeded by
Sir Geoffrey Howe
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