A bill named for WWII codebreaker Alan Turing that would have pardoned more than 49,000 gay men convicted under gross indecency laws has failed in UK parliament after the Government’s Justice Minister Sam Gyimah, who had proposed an alternative bill, spoke until the bill was killed, the BBC reports:
Minister Sam Gyimah spoke for 25 minutes, reaching the time limit allotted for the debate. There were shouts of “shame” and “shameful” from angry MPs as the seconds ticked down and proceedings came to an end.
The alternative bill proposed by Gyimah, an amendment to the Policing and Crimes Bill, would grant similar pardons for those who have died but would make those still alive go through a “disregard process” to receive official pardons.
The government said it would not support SNP MP John Nicolson’s Sexual Offences (Pardons) bill – which proposes a blanket pardon for the living – because it could potentially lead to some people being cleared of offences that are still crimes.
But, speaking to the BBC’s Daily Politics, Mr Nicolson said that his priority was to set aside the criminal convictions of men who were still living with them.
He said: “It’s great to forgive all the people who are now dead, but it’s kind of sentimental. I’m more interested in forgiving the people who are still alive, and have lived with this for decades.”
More on this as it develops…