Met Lord Sharkey in Manchester today. We visited members of the Turing Celebration Committee at the University to see what joint work could be done to highlight Turing’s life and achievements.
Lord Sharkey told me that he had a personal interest in getting a pardon for Alan Turing. He studied Mathematics at Manchester University and was taught by Robin Gandy, Turing’s pupil and executor. He learned early on of Turing’s outstanding contributions to Mathematics and Computing and of his absolutely vital contribution to our war effort in cracking the Enigma code.
Like me, he thinks Turing was a hero. Like me he strongly disapproves of his barbaric treatment under an unjust and cruel law. And, like me, he feels the same about all those others convicted under the same law.
Lord Sharkey and I have been questioning ministers about the law. He asked the question about the pardon for Alan Turing in the Lords, and a follow-up question which revealed that 698 people had been pardoned since 1982.
My question to the Justice Minister asking how many chemical castration there have been will be answered on the 13th March.
Meanwhile, Will Jones’s petition has broken through the 31,000 mark.