Tuesday 10 September 2019 / 1:12 PM Dawn Butler / Women and Equalities

Labour calls for Geoffrey Boycott’s knighthood to be rescinded

Labour calls for Geoffrey Boycott’s knighthood to be rescinded

Labour has called on Boris Johnson to rescind Geoffrey Boycott’s knighthood over his conviction for domestic violence and his response to criticism over his honour.

Adina Claire, co-acting chief executive of Women’s Aid, has 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.”

On average, two women are killed each week by a current or former partner in England and Wales.

When questioned on the Today programme about the criticism of his knighthood, Boycott replied “I couldn’t give a toss”.

Boycott is reported to have responded to a question in 2017 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.

Dawn Butler MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities, said:

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

“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.”

Ends

Notes to Editors

  • Transcript of Geoffrey Boycott’s interview on Today:

MK: I suppose one of the reasons [it’s taken so long to be knighted] that you critics might put forward is the conviction that you had for domestic violence?

GB: It’s 25 years ago love. In a French court she tried to blackmail me for £1m , I said no because in England if you pay any money at all we think, hang on, there must be something there. I said, I’m not paying anything. I’m not sure I’ve actually got a million, at the time. But no, and it’s a court case in France where you’re guilty, which is one reason I don’t vote to remain in Europe, you’re guilty until you’re presumed innocent. That’s totally different from England and it’s very difficult to prove your innocence in another country, another language. And most people in England don’t believe it. I didn’t do it, I move on. It’s a cross I have to bear, right or wrong, good or bad. I have to live with it and I do because I’m clear in my mind, and I think most people in England are, that it’s not true.

MK: Although the chief executive of Women’s Aid has said, celebrating a man who’s…

GB: I don’t care a toss about her, love. It’s 25 years ago. So you can take your political nature and do whatever you want with it. 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.