TWO years ago, Geoffrey Boycott apologised for racially charged comments about being denied a knighthood. 

He told a Q&A event in Birmingham he had been overlooked repeatedly but might get one if he “blacked up”.

It turns out all he didn’t need to go so far. All he needed was a former prime minister with a love of cricket and a willingness to see past a conviction for an brutal act of domestic abuse.

It is this – rather than the colour of his skin – which is widely understood to have kept the former England cricketer and supposed “greatest living Yorkshireman” off the honours list.

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Boycott – now Sir Geoffrey thanks to Theresa May’s decision to knight him – showed no signs of contrition yesterday.  

When asked about Women’s Aid acting chief executive Adina Claire, who said his award was “extremely disappointing”, he said he didn’t “give a toss” and bizarrely claimed to have voted for Brexit because of his conviction.

He told BBC Today programme presenter 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.”

He then claimed – wrongly – that in French courts the accused is guilty until proven innocent and said this was why he had voted to leave the EU. 

His comments came after Ms 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, it is extremely disappointing that a knighthood has been recommended for Geoffrey Boycott, who is a convicted perpetrator.” 

Boycott was convicted in France in 1998 of beating his then-girlfriend in a Riviera hotel. 

He was fined £5,000 and given a three-month suspended prison sentence over the incident at the Hotel du Cap in Antibes, during which he was found to have struck Margaret Moore 20 times in the face before checking out and leaving her with the bill. 

Despite the conviction, Sir Geoffrey has always denied assaulting Ms Moore, and maintained blackened eyes and bruising to her forehead were sustained in an accidental fall while she was throwing his clothes out of a hotel window.

At his trial, public prosecutor Jean-Yves Duval rejected this, saying the injuries were “absolutely incompatible” with an accident. 

READ MORE: Sir Geoffrey Boycott does not ‘give a toss’ about knighthood criticism 

Boycott’s lawyers flew in experts to say the opposite and women to testify that they had hurt themselves in a similar way in falls. But Judge Haumant-Dumas was less than impressed, commenting after Boycott was convicted: “The accused didn’t hesitate to interrupt rudely Mrs Moore’s lawyer, tarnishing the image of the perfect gentleman, which he brought his old friends and witnesses to testify to.”

The knighthood, and Mr Boycott’s brusque refusal to accept his conviction led to an outpouring of criticism of him and of Mrs May for finally granting the honour. Critics pointed out that the former prime minister introduced a Domestic Abuse Bill earlier this year,  which would put  economic, controlling and coercive non-physical abuse on the statute book, as they now are in Scotland, for the first 

However, it failed to make it through Parliament before prorogation. 

A spokeswoman from the Woman’s Trust said: “It’s disappointing to see Geoffrey Boycott included in Theresa May’s honours list, given her vocal support for domestic abuse survivors. 

“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.”

Yorkshire-born Spice Girl Melanie Brown, who accused her former husband Stephen Belafonte of abuse in the US courts, was among those who weighed into the row. 

She tweeted: “Geoffrey Boycott is a disgrace to Yorkshire, I can not believe he has been knighted, perpetrators of domestic abuse shouldn’t be held up as heroes EVER”.