Seven-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton is set to be knighted in the Queen’s New Year honours, it was reported on Tuesday.
Per the Daily Mail, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has intervened to remove concerns over Hamilton’s tax status by placing him on the ‘Diplomatic and Overseas List’, thus paving the way for his knighthood.
Previously, there had been reservations over Hamilton receiving the honour due to his status as a resident of Monaco, although former Labour Cabinet minister Lord Hain had repeatedly debunked the claim he did not pay his fair-share of UK tax, and was indeed amongst the country’s top 5,000 taxpayers.
Nevertheless, the sport honours committee was not willing to knight Hamilton given HMRC could not properly vet his tax affairs, but that hurdle has now been removed by Mr. Johnson – the first time such an accommodation has been made for a British sportsperson.
As a result, Hamilton will be the fourth F1 driver to be knighted after Sir Jack Brabham, Sir Stirling Moss and Sir Jackie Stewart, and the first active sportsperson since Sir Andy Murray and Sir Mo Farah in 2017.