Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 21 September 2019

Row erupts over former UK PM Theresa May’s honours list

Criticism centred around ex-England cricket captain Geoffrey Boycott

Former prime minister Theresa May has been criticised for bestowing a knighthood on ex-England cricket captain Geoffrey Boycott (pictured). Boycott was convicted in 1998 for assaulting his girlfriend  Reuters
Former prime minister Theresa May has been criticised for bestowing a knighthood on ex-England cricket captain Geoffrey Boycott (pictured). Boycott was convicted in 1998 for assaulting his girlfriend  Reuters

Former UK prime minister Theresa May may have stepped back from the front line of Britain’s bruising Brexit battle but she continues to court controversy with her resignation honours list.

The majority of those honoured in Mrs May’s 57-strong list have been political figures but the former PM received the greatest amount of criticism for bestowing a knighthood on ex-England cricket captain Geoffrey Boycott.

It is customary in the UK for the outgoing PM to draw up a list of figures they wish to be celebrated with titles and honours. The list is approved by the Cabinet office.

Domestic abuse charities decried the decision because of Boycott’s 1998 conviction for assaulting then girlfriend Margaret Moore.

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

Boycott, who denies the assault, responded to the criticism in a defiant interview with the BBC.

“Most people in England don't believe it. I didn't do it – move on,” he said.

"It's a cross I have to bear, right or wrong, good or bad. I have to live with it," Boycott said.

At the same time, Mrs May has faced criticism for giving honours to her advisers Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, who were granted CBEs, and her chief Europe adviser Oliver Robbins who received a knighthood.

Brexit party leader Nigel Farage, who railed against Mrs May during her time in office, accused the former PM of “rewarding failure”.

Updated: September 10, 2019 02:49 PM

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