Turing pardon architect welcomes new £50 note as "rightfully painful reminder of what we lost"


The architect of Alan Turing's pardon has welcomed the news that he will front the new £50 note, saying it will serve as a "rightfully painful reminder of what we lost."

Today (15/07/19), the Bank of England announced that WWII hero Alan Turing will be the face of the new £50 note at an event in Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry.

Former Manchester MP and gay rights campaigner John Leech led a nearly decade-long campaign to pardon Alan Turing, gaining immense public support from legendary physicists such as Stephen Hawking.

During the campaign, Leech submitted several bills to Parliament describing Turing’s long-held conviction as "utterly disgusting and ultimately just embarrassing".

After his campaign proved successful, Leech turned to secure pardons for the 75,000+ other men and women convicted of the same outdated crime in what is now nicknamed the Alan Turing Law.

Welcoming today's news, Turing pardon architect John Leech said:

“It is almost impossible to put into words the difference that Alan Turing made to society, but perhaps the most poignant example is that his work is estimated to have shortened the war by four years and saved up to 21 million lives.

"And yet the way he was treated afterwards remains a national embarrassment and an example of society at its absolute worst.

"I'm absolutely delighted that Turing will be the face of the new £50 note and I hope it will go some way to acknowledging his unprecedented contribution to society and science.

"It is a fitting and welcome tribute to a true Manchester hero.

"But more importantly I hope it will serve as a stark and rightfully painful reminder of what we lost in Turing, and what we will risk when we allow that kind of hateful ideology to win."


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