Priti Patel is hoping to ‘right the wrongs of the past’ with a new scheme to be announced soon.Welcoming the move, Nancy Kelley, Stonewall’s CEO, said: ‘It is wonderful to wake up this morning to see pardons extended for historic convictions of gay and bi men – criminalised for being who they are and loving who they love.’Currently, just nine former offences are included on a specified list, which the Home Office said ‘largely focused on the repealed offences of buggery and gross indecency between men’.It means that anyone convicted or cautioned for consensual same-sex activity can apply to have them ‘disregarded’, with an automatic pardon given.But the government now aims to use an amendment to the controversial Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to broaden the criteria.In the future, it will include any repealed or abolished civilian or military offence that was imposed on someone for consensual same-sex sexual activity.Since 2012, people in England and Wales have been able to apply to have such historical convictions disregarded.Under the existing scheme – known as ‘Alan Turing’s Law’ – thousands of gay and bisexual men were granted automatic posthumous pardons over sexual acts that are no longer deemed criminal.However, campaigners have long argued it does not go far enough and that there is ‘so much more to be done’.Lord Cashman, who worked on the campaign alongside Tory peer Lord Lexden, said on Monday: ‘The UK did so much wrong – reputations and lives can finally be uplifted.’And I promise we will build consensus across political parties reinforcing the principle of equality.

Equality reinforces the rights of each of us. I will stand with the most loved, the most defamed the most unfavoured. Together.