Geoffrey Boycott has responded strongly to criticism from a domestic violence charity that he shouldn’t have been knighted due to him being convicted for assaulting his then-girlfriend Margaret Moore in 1998.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4 Today programme presenter Martha Kearney, Boycott went on a rant against Adina Claire, the co-acting chief executive of Women’s Aid, that included his views on Brexit as well.
“Twenty-five years ago, love. In a French court, she (Moore) 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’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.
“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.”
“I don’t care a toss about her, love. It was 25 years ago. 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.
“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.”
Claire had said that celebrating Boycott sent a message that domestic abuse “is not taken seriously as a crime” and that his knighthood was “disappointing”.
“Celebrating a man who was convicted for assaulting his partner sends a dangerous message – that domestic abuse is not taken seriously as a crime,” she had said.
“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.”