Video: Chris Grayling on Alan Turing pardon

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling described the way the World War II code-breaker was treated as 'a blight in our history'

Tuesday 24 December 2013 15:23

World War Two code-breaker Alan Turing has been given a royal pardon by the Queen. The process was initiated by Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary Chris Grayling.

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Grayling said "Turing is one of our great national heroes. He did as much as anyone to save us during the Second World War. What happened to him, in my view, is a blight in our history."

"When you think that this is a man who really saved us in our darkest hour in the Second World War. One of our great national war heroes. The idea that he could be chemically castrated after the war, at a time when he could have done so much more for our country, I think we all regard this as barbaric. It should never have happened and at least we can set the record straight now. We can't turn back history but can send a big message that says 'this was wrong'."

Grayling added that Turing deserved to be "remembered and recognised for his fantastic contribution to the war effort" and not for his later criminal conviction.

"His later life was overshadowed by his conviction for homosexual activity, a sentence we would now consider unjust and discriminatory and which has now been repealed," he said. "A pardon from the Queen is a fitting tribute to an exceptional man."

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