Lengthy campaign behind gay WWII codebreaker pardon

Dr Alan Turing was prosecuted for homosexuality and chemically castrated. Credit: ITV News

Nearly 60 years after his death, WW2 codebreaker Dr Alan Turing has been given a rare royal pardon over his conviction for being gay.

He played a key role in cracking the Enigma code - which many argue led to the war being shortened by two years.

But his achievements were overshadowed by his conviction.

The apology comes after a lengthy campaign, as ITV News Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen reports.

"He needs to be remembered as one of our great war-heroes, alongside people like Churchill and Montgomery," Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, who requested a posthumous royal pardon for Dr Turing, told ITV News.

"And yet his life ended in disgrace, in circumstances today we find to be extraordinary and horrible. At least we can set the record straight now," he added.

Dr Turing died of cyanide poisoning and an inquest recorded a verdict of suicide, although his mother and others maintained his death was accidental.

There has been a long campaign to clear the mathematician's name, including a well-supported e-petition and private member's bill, along with support from leading scientists such as Sir Stephen Hawking.

The pardon under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy will come into effect today.