Newly-elected Tory MP for Milton Keynes South, Iain Stewart, made his first speech in the House of Commons last night in which he spoke of the heroic life and tragic early death of gay mathematician and wartime code-breaker Alan Turing.
Mr Stewart also paid tribute to former Prime Minister Gordon Brown for his public apology over the persecution of Mr Turing, who was driven to suicide in 1954 at the age of only 41.
Fittingly, Mr Stewart’s constituency covers Bletchley Park, site of Britain’s code-breaking opertions during World War II, and Mr Turing’s workplace.
Mr Stewart said, “I also wish to use this opportunity to pay tribute to the former Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath [Mr Brown], for what he did to right the wrong against the brilliant code breaker and mathematician, Alan Turing, a national hero who was so persecuted for being gay that he ultimately took his own life. While the Right Honourable Gentleman and I share little political agreement – although, in the interests of full disclosure, I should declare that I was christened by his father – I pay tribute to him for making that national apology for the wrong done to Alan Turing.”
Matthew Sephton, Chairman of LGBTory, the Conservative LGBT group, said he was “delighted” by his colleague’s speech and his tribute a “national hero”.
He added, “The Conservatives in the House of Commons now have more openly-LGBT MPs than in any other party and I look forward to working with them all, as well as with the new government, in the coming months and years.”
Mr Sephton added that his party felt it was “vital” to ensure that issues which affect LGBT people in the UK and around the world were “highlighted at the heart of government”. He also said that Mr Stewart’s speech “has been a good start to this work in the new Parliament.”