LGBT Labour welcomes the announcement of the royal pardon of Dr Alan Turing
Dr Alan Turing, a World War Two code breaker and computer pioneer, has been given a posthumous royal pardon for his 1952 conviction for homosexuality. He was punished by being chemically castrated and is thought to have later taken his own life.
Bev Craig, Co-Chair of LGBT Labour said:
"Alan Turing is a hero - not just to the LGBT community, but to the whole nation. Having helped cracked the Enigma Code and being he larded as the Father of the modern computer, Alan Turing was convicted of homosexuality in 1952 and forced to choose between castration or imprisonment.
Following the official apology in 2009, this royal pardon is the last step in finally recognising this great man and his achievements. LGBT Labour has campaigned for his pardon, and we are so pleased it is finally going to happen; for his family, his friends, the LGBT community and the country as a whole. We can celebrate how far society as come since Turing's prosecution."
For many years, Alan Turing was based at Bletchley Park, not far from Milton Keynes. Andrew Pakes, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Milton Keynes South said:
“This is welcome news for everyone who has been involved in this great campaign to pardon Alan Turing. Alan Turing was a great British hero persecuted for a crime that no longer exists. This is another step towards recognising our history and ensuring that the real story of Britain is celebrated. I am really pleased that the government has listened to campaigners and accepted the special circumstances for a pardon.”
Notes to editors
- LGBT Labour is the Labour Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights. Affiliated to the Labour Party, we campaign for LGBT rights within the Labour movement.
- LGBT Labour, alongside Scientists for Labour, have drawn attention to the treatment of Alan Turing.
- In 2009, then Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown apologised for the treatment of Alan.
- In 2012, Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan backed the campaign for a pardon of Alan Turing