FORMER England cricket captain Sir Geoffrey Boycott has said “I don’t give a toss” about backlash to his knighthood from a leading domestic violence charity.
Women’s Aid said the honour “sends out a dangerous message” following Boycott’s 1998 conviction for assaulting his then girlfriend, Margaret Moore.
Sir Geoffrey Boycott, who has said he doesn’t ‘give a toss’ about backlash to his knighthood[/caption]
Theresa May awarded Boycott a knighthood for services to sport in her resignation honours list[/caption]
Adina Claire, the charity’s co-acting chief executive, described his knighthood as “extremely disappointing”.
Defiant Boycott then responded by telling Radio 4 Today programme host Martha Kearney: “I don’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.”
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, Womens Aid
Boycott’s knighthood sparked controversy due to his previous conviction – for which a French court fined him £5,000 and handed down a three-month suspended jail sentence.
He has always denied the charge.
Theresa May, who introduced a landmark domestic abuse bill to parliament earlier this year, gave Boycott a knighthood for services to sport in her resignation honours list.
I don’t give a toss about her, love
Sir Geoffrey Boycott
Claire 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.
“With increasing awareness of domestic abuse, and a domestic abuse bill ready to be taken forward by government, it is extremely disappointing that a knighthood has been recommended for Geoffrey Boycott, who is a convicted perpetrator of domestic abuse.”
A spokeswoman from the Woman’s Trust added: “It’s disappointing to see Geoffrey Boycott included in Theresa May’s honours list, given her vocal support for domestic abuse survivors and the domestic abuse bill.
“While we welcome the recent domestic abuse bill for its work to widen the definition of domestic abuse, the inclusion of Geoffrey Boycott in the honours list shows just how much our attitude as a society needs to change when it comes to supporting survivors.”
It’s disappointing to see Geoffrey Boycott included in Theresa May’s honours list
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.
Boycott has accused her of putting a “stain on my name” and maintained her injuries were sustained through an accidental slip and fall.
But public prosecutor Jean-Yves Duval rejected Boycott’s claims, saying the injuries were “absolutely incompatible” with an accident and that the cricketer’s lawyer Jean-Luc Cardona did not stand up to examination.
During the radio interview, Kearney suggested that Boycott’s honour was possibly not given to him sooner due to his conviction.
Sir Geoffrey Boycott was awarded a knighthood for services to sport[/caption]
But the 78-year-old said: “25 years ago, love. In a French court, she tried to blackmail me for a million pound. 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’d actually got a million at the time.
“It’s a court case in France where you’re guilty, which is one of the reasons I [didn’t] vote to remain in Europe – because you’re guilty until you’re proved innocent. That’s totally the opposite from England and it’s very difficult to prove you’re innocent in another country and another language.”
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He went on: “Most people in England don’t believe it. I didn’t do it. 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.
“This is just recognition of my cricket. [It’s] very nice, very honoured, thankful to Theresa May and I thank all the people that supported me and cared for me throughout my cricketing career.”
An estimated 1.3 million women and 695,000 men experienced domestic abuse in the past year, according to Office for National Statistics figures from November 2018.
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