Lewis Hamilton is knighted after Boris Johnson circumvented concerns about the world champion’s tax status by placing him on the “Diplomatic and Overseas List”.
No British sporting figure is believed to have been featured in this controversial way – a measure of the Prime Minister’s desire to see Hamilton at the New Years Awards on Thursday after the Mercedes star won his seventh Formula 1 title in November .
The 35-year-old was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, and grew up on an estate before becoming the first black driver in the Grand Prix race. This year he campaigned for more diversity in his sport.
Lewis Hamilton is knighted after concerns about the racing star’s tax status are circumvented
The Brit scored a record-breaking seventh world title in another dominant season in F1
Hamilton, who is worth more than £ 250million, has lived in Monaco tax exile for a decade after first moving to Switzerland from the UK after completing his 2007 debut season.
Former Labor Cabinet Minister Lord Hain, vice chairman of the all-party faction for Formula One, has written twice to Downing Street proving that Hamilton is one of Britain’s 5,000 largest taxpayers.
The Sport Honors Committee did not believe that triggered the argument, however, as Hamilton’s Monaco residence meant HMRC could not adequately review its tax matters – a requirement for all domestic awards.
The 35-year-old driver was also instrumental in leading the sport’s anti-racism stance
There were concerns about Hamilton’s tax status, but Boris Johnson got around these questions by putting the British on the “diplomatic and overseas list”.
The Prime Minister has since got around this concern by using the term “overseas”, which recognizes “people who have provided the UK with exceptional service abroad and internationally”.
Hamilton, who was awarded the MBE in 2008 after his first world title, becomes the fourth F1 driver to be knighted after Sir Jack Brabham, Sir Stirling Moss and Sir Jackie Stewart.
Hamilton was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year for the second time last weekend.
A government source told Sportsmail: “Boris made it clear that he wanted to knight Lewis so that everyone would be cornered.”
Hamilton’s drive for diversity in F1 goes hand in hand with his outspoken support for the Black Lives Matter movement this year. His Mercedes team also dropped their famous silver colors to adopt a black paint job for the 2020 campaign to crack down on discrimination.
He has credited BLM for helping them take a record seventh F1 title last season.
At many racing events over the past season, Hamilton was seen on the podium in protest against the murder of George Floyd while wearing many anti-racism slogan t-shirts and masks.
Hamilton, who was guest editor for BBC Radio 4’s Today Program on Boxing Day, said, “I had that extra drive this year to get to the end of these races.
“It was a different drive than what I had in me in the past.
“To get to the end of these races first so I can use this platform [for Black Lives Matter] and shine the light as brightly as possible. ‘
Hamilton was recently named Sports Personality of the Year for the second time by the BBC
However, his stance has sparked some controversy.
Critics have alleged that the BLM was “kidnapped” by groups representing radical left-wing political views, including a desire to “abolish” both capitalism and the police.
After winning the Tuscany Grand Prix in September, Hamilton also escaped punishment for wearing a slogan on his shirt that read “Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor” in reference to the black woman who who was killed by police in Kentucky in March.
When asked by Professor David Olusoga if he was worried about how people would react to his public position in support of BLM, Hamilton replied, “There is no way I can be silent.
“And when I said that to myself, I wasn’t afraid anymore.”
His support for BLM and his outspoken stance on combating racial injustice has sparked some controversy, for example when he wore this t-shirt after the Tuscany Grand Prix in September
When Hamilton spoke of not discovering until this year that his Grenadian grandparents were from the Windrush generation, he also called for schoolchildren to be educated about black history.
Hamilton continued, “We cannot let this movement die a silent death. We have to keep it alive, but I think the curriculum must finally change. And my nieces and nephews, I want them to get to know both sides.
‘The great white history and also, they are mixed races so it would be great for them to learn where their dad is from and their black history.
“We are trapped because our story cannot be told without confronting two things that we don’t like to talk about in this country. One is slavery and one is the violence of the empire. ‘