Pardon to be re-examined for codebreaker Turing
He is widely credited as the father of modern computing, and played a pivotal role in cracking the Nazi Engima cipher, but sixty years after his death Alan Turing campaigners are still awaiting a pardon from the government over his conviction for homosexual behaviour.
The campaign for a pardon today received a boost, albeit slight, from the Commons leader Sir George Young after he pledged to have another look at the case following lobbying by an MP.
An application for a pardon has already been rejected once and Sir Young was clear that the review of the case was unlikely to lead to a different outcome without new evidence.
The centenary of Turing's birth will be marked in June this year.
Turing, whose work at Bletchley Park helped crack the Nazi Enigma code, was convicted in 1952 and committed suicide two years later.
The review of the case for a pardon was prompted by Tory, Iain Stewart, who holds a seat in the Milton Keynes south which includes Bletchley Park.
Mr Stewart called on the Government to consider “whether it would be appropriate to grant him a pardon for the so-called crime of which he was convicted”.
Responding to the question in the Commons, Sir George said:
“I understand that an application for a royal prerogative of mercy was put forward on the basis that the offence should not have existed, but sadly one cannot give a royal prerogative on those particular grounds.
“The argument that it should not have been an offence in the first place is not normally a ground for prerogative.”
The call for a pardon comes in the week that a new exhibition depicting the life and work of Turing opened at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire.
The collection includes artefacts contributed by Turing’s family as well as rare mathematical papers.
Following his conviction in 1952 Turing underwent a so-called 'chemical castration' – which involved having injections of oestrogen for a year - he did so in order to avoid a prison sentence.
In 2009, then prime minister Gordon Brown issued an apology for the treatment of Turing saying,
"The debt of gratitude he is owed makes it all the more horrifying, therefore, that he was treated so inhumanely."
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have an excellent role for a...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An IT Support Analyst is required to join the ...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: SURREY - An outstanding high level opportunity...