Pardon for Alan Turing: ‘Who would it hurt?’

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THE son of one of Alan Turing’s closest friends has called for the codebreaking hero to be pardoned.

William Newman, whose father Max was Turing’s mentor, said it would be a nice idea to see him pardoned – a campaign that has been heavily backed by the Milton Keynes Citizen, as well as MP for Milton Keynes South, Iain Stewart.

Speaking at a signing of the new Alan Turing Monopoly game on Tuesday, he said: “I don’t see why they can’t pardon him, it’s not a crime anymore. Who does it hurt?

“I think it’s a wonderful idea, he did so much and was left out of a lot of the credit for the war.”

As a teenager William drew his own version of a Monopoly board and played the war hero on it – and won. A copy of the hand drawn version has been included in every box.

He said: “Alan called the house and asked if we had a Monopoly set and my father told him we did so we agreed on a date for him to come and play. I don’t think he expected to see it on paper.

“With this new game you can imagine what it’s like to play against him.”

Sir John Dermot Turing, Alan’s nephew, agreed that his uncle deserved a pardon but questioned if it was the right decision to single him out.

“I agree that a pardon would be gratifying, the law was daft back then. However, if we pardon him then why not pardon everyone else who was convicted of that crime or any other that has been decriminalised?

“The conviction was a valid one at the time and he pleaded guilty to it. He had no embarrassment or shame in it, he was just unfortunately out of his time.”

Both men agreed it would be fitting to see him on the new £10 note – something else supporters are campaigning for – and not just those in the game.

Sir John said: “It would be interesting to see him honoured on the regular £10 note. The game itself is a great tribute. It’s wonderful for him to get that recognition.

“It’s equally important that it is associated with Bletchley Park. The proceeds will be going towards its restoration but we are well aware that millions more will be needed.”

William and Sir John have now signed a copy of the game which will be auctioned off for extra funds.