Thousands of gay and bisexual men convicted of now abolished sexual offences will be posthumously pardoned, Justice Minister Sam Gyimah announced today.

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The change will see those convicted for consensual same-sex relationships before the change in the law formally pardoned.

Minister Gyimah said the Government would seek to implement the change through an amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill.

Anyone living who has been convicted of these now abolished offences can already apply through the Home Office to have their names cleared through the disregard process. This removes any mention of an offence from criminal record checks.

In an important step, the Government also announced today it will introduce a new statutory pardon for the living in cases where offences have been successfully deleted through the disregard process.

Sam Gyimah
Justice Minister, Sam Gyimah

Justice Minister Sam Gyimah said:
“It is hugely important that we pardon people convicted of historical sexual offences who would be innocent of any crime today. Through pardons and the existing disregard process we will meet our manifesto commitment to put right these wrongs.”

Today’s announcement will meet a Government commitment to build on the case of Enigma codebreaker Alan Turing, who committed suicide following his conviction for gross indecency and was posthumously pardoned by Her Majesty the Queen in 2013.

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