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UK NewsLabour calls for Sir Geoffrey Boycott to be stripped of his knighthood over domestic violence conviction

17:20  10 september  2019
17:20  10 september  2019 Source:   inews.co.uk

Knighthoods for Boycott, Strauss

Knighthoods for Boycott, Strauss Geoffrey Boycott and Andrew Strauss will receive knighthoods in former Prime Minister Theresa May's resignation honours list. The pair will be recognised for their services to sport after long and successful careers at international and county level. Yorkshire opener Boycott is May's sporting hero and last year she famously compared her Brexit strategy to a Boycott innings. He played 108 Tests between 1964 and 1982, scoring 8,114 runs at an average of 47.72 - the first England player to reach 8,000.

Labour calls for Sir Geoffrey Boycott to be stripped of his knighthood over domestic violence conviction © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

Boris Johnson should strip Sir Geoffrey Boycott of his knighthood over his conviction for domestic violence, Labour said today.

Shadow equalities minister Dawn Butler added to the growing outrage over Theresa May's decision to award the veteran cricketer with a gong in her resignation honours list. It follows criticism by Women's Aid that the honour sends a “dangerous message” that domestic violence is not taken seriously.

Downing Street have distanced the current Prime Minister from his predecessor's decision to give Sir Geoffrey an honour. Earlier, Sir Geoffrey sparked fury by saying he “couldn't give a toss” about the criticism. Ms Butler urged the Prime Minister to remove the knighthood and launch an overhaul of the honours system.

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Labour calls for Sir Geoffrey Boycott to be stripped of his knighthood over domestic violence conviction © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

Mrs May's resignation list is proving as controversial as her predecessor David Cameron's, which drew criticism for being stuffed with peerages and honours for his former No10 advisers. After making a veiled swipe about Mr Cameron's list when she was PM, Mrs May has given knighthoods, CBEs and peerages to a list of her ex-No10 staff. But it is the furore around the former Yorkshire and England batsman that has caused the most outrage.

Labour calls for Sir Geoffrey Boycott to be stripped of his knighthood over domestic violence conviction © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

Sir Geoffrey Boycott sparked fury by saying he 'couldn't give a toss' about the criticism over his knighthood (Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty)

'Dangerous message'

Ms Butler said: “Celebrating a man convicted of assaulting his partner by giving him a knighthood is an insult to victims and survivors of domestic violence.

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“Honouring a perpetrator of domestic violence just because he is the former Prime Minister’s favourite sportsman shows how out of touch and nepotistic the honours list is.

“Boris Johnson should rescind his knighthood today. The whole honours system needs radically overhauling, alongside peerages, so that our political system works for the many not the few.”

Adina Claire, co-acting chief executive of Women’s Aid, said: “Celebrating a man who was convicted for assaulting his partner sends a dangerous message – that domestic abuse is not taken seriously as a crime.”

Shadow equalities minister Dawn Butler added to the growing outrage over Theresa May's decision to award the veteran cricketer with a gong (Photo: Aaron Chown/PA Wire)

Honours row

Asked about the furore this morning, a No10 spokesman said the honour was a “matter for the last Prime Minister”. People who receive honours can be stripped of the award if they have been found guilty of a criminal offence or other behaviour which could bring the honours system into disrepute. It would be a matter for the official Honours Forfeiture Committee to rescind the gong, with the approval of the Queen.

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On average, two women are killed each week by a current or former partner in England and Wales. Sir Geoffrey received a conviction in a French court in 1998 for assaulting his then girlfriend, Margaret Moore, in a Riviera hotel. He has always denied wrongdoing.

Former prime minister Theresa May gave honours to her key aides (Photo: Getty)

When questioned by Today programme presenter Martha Kearney about the criticism of his knighthood by the Women's Aid chief executive, Sir Geoffrey said: “I couldn't give a toss about her, love.

“Twenty-five years ago. You can take your political nature and do whatever you want with it. I couldn’t give a toss. You want to talk to me about my knighthood, it’s very nice of you to have me. But I couldn't give a toss.”

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Sir Geoffrey was fined £5,000 and given a three-month suspended prison sentence after computer consultant Mrs Moore suffered bruising to her forehead and blackened eyes in the assault at the Hotel du Cap in Antibes in October 1996. He has previously accused her of putting a “stain on my name” and maintained her injuries were sustained through an accidental slip and fall.

In 2017, he is reported to have responded to a question about why he did not have a knighthood by saying they are handed out like “confetti” to West Indies cricketers and that he would need to “black up” in order to receive one.

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