Historic Bletchley icon chosen as the new face of the £50 note

The new face of the £50 banknote has been revealed by the Bank of England, with Alan Turing set to feature.

Alan Turing was an English mathematician, computer scientist, philosopher and theoretical biologist, and is widely considered the father of artificial intelligence.

As a gay man, he was never recognised during his life in the UK because of his homosexuality. In 1939, he took up a full-time role here at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire, which is where he cracked the ‘Enigma’ code used by Germany and its allies during WW2.

During a six-week nomination period, which closed in December, the Bank received 227,299 nominations in total for a figure to go on the updated note.

Individuals who had worked in any field of science including astronomy, biology, bio-technology, zoology, technology and medical research were considered.

The final decision was announced by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, who also showcased its new design.

Mr Carney said: “Alan Turing was an outstanding mathematician whose work has had an enormous impact on how we live today.

“As the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, as well as a war hero, Alan Turing’s contributions were far-ranging and path-breaking.

“It’s also vital that we celebrate LGBT+ history, which is often less visible, and make sure that we represent the diversity of those who paved the way before us.

“The world we live in now is very different to Turing’s time, and LGBT rights have come a long way. But the fight for true equality is far from over.

“We know that LGBT people still face significant challenges. That’s why we’re still fighting for a world where all LGBT people are accepted and recognised without exception.”