Francis Pym (Francis Leslie Pym)
BiographyLondon, England, UK
Francis Pym was born in 1922. He attended Magdalene College at Cambridge and served in World War II. He entered Parliament in 1961 as a Conservative MP from Cambridgeshire. He served in the cabinet of Edward Heath as Chief Whip, 1970-73 and Minister of Northern Ireland, 1973-74. After the Tories lost the first General Election in 1974, Pym served in the Shadow Cabinet as Spokesman for Agriculture. However, in 1976, an illness forced him to leave the Shadow Cabinet for a time. But he was well enough to rejoin the Cabinet when Margaret Thatcher led the Tories to victory in 1979. Read more... served as Minister of Defense from 1979 to early 1981, when he was moved over to the position of Leader of the House of Commons, a position he held until after the outbreak of the Falklands War in April 1982. The Argentine Invasion of the Falkland Islands forced the resignation of Foreign Secretary Peter Carrington. Francis Pym was chosen to succeed him. Throughout the Falklands War, Francis Pym urged diplomacy instead of using military force to resolve the crisis, a position that did not endear him to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Britain's military victory in the Falklands undermined Pym's political standing. In the 1983 election, he got himself into trouble by saying that landslide victories don't produce successful governments. That got him fired from the cabinet after Margaret Thatcher's landslide reelection in 1983. Francis Pym returned to the back benches and tried unsuccessfully to rally moderate Tories to oppose Margaret Thatcher with a group known as "Centre Forward." He retired from Parliament in 1987.