Famous gay mathematician and World War II codebreaker Alan Turing will not get an official pardon from the UK Government despite a campaign by petitioners that collected more than 20,000 signatures.

Turing devised the Turing Bombe, a code-breaking device used to decipher the Nazi Enigma codes.

He was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, when homosexual acts were illegal in the UK, and sentenced to chemical castration.

He killed himself two years later by taking cyanide.

Justice Minister Lord McNally dismissed the motion in the House of Lords.

“It is tragic that Alan Turing was convicted of an offence which now seems both cruel and absurd, particularly … given his outstanding contribution to the war effort,” McNally said.

“However, the law at the time required a prosecution and, as such, longstanding policy has been to accept that such convictions took place and, rather than trying to alter the historical context and to put right what cannot be put right, ensure instead that we never again return to those times.”

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