A petition has been started to push the Government to rename the August Bank Holiday after late gay computer genius and codebreaker Alan Turing, rather than after Margaret Thatcher.

The petition, started yesterday, calls for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to rename the holiday after Turing. This comes amid a controversy over possible plans to rename the day after Margaret Thatcher.

Thousands have signed another petition opposing the move by several Conservative MPs to rename the day ‘Margaret Thatcher Day’. The bill to make the change has its second reading on 28 February.

Turing was prosecuted for gross indecency in 1952, after having a relationship with another man. The mathematical genius and codebreaker was the effective inventor of the modern computer and a key driver behind the victory over the Nazis.

He killed himself in 1954, two years after being sentenced to chemical castration for his homosexuality.

Two days before Christmas 2013, the Queen granted a posthumous pardon to Turing under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy.

E-petitions have to reach 100,000 signatures in order for them to be considered for debate in the House of Commons.