Pym served as Conservative MP for Cambridgeshire 1961-1983, and for Cambridgeshire South-East 1983-7. He was Government Chief Whip 1970-1973. He served as Northern Ireland Secretary 1973-74, Defence Secretary 1979-81, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Paymaster-General and Leader of the Commons, 1981, Lord President of the Council and Leader of the Commons 1981-2, and Foreign Secretary 1982-83.
Pym served as Northern Ireland Secretary from 2 December 1973 to 4 March 1974.
The Sunningdale conference took place at the beginning of his tenure, but was largely managed by his predecessor William Whitelaw and Prime Minister Edward Heath. The February 1974 general election led to his replacement by Labour's Merlyn Rees.
- Andrew Roth, Francis Pym, guardian.co.uk, 7 March 2008.
- David Butler and Gareth Butler, Twentieth Century British Political Facts 1900-2000, Macmillan, 2000, p.82.
- David Butler and Gareth Butler, Twentieth Century British Political Facts 1900-2000, Macmillan, 2000, p.34.
- W.D Flackes, & Sydney Elliott, Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-88, Blackstaff Press, 1989, p.241.