Lewis Hamilton to be knighted after Boris Johnson places F1 star on 'Diplomatic and Overseas List' to avoid tax row
LEWIS HAMILTON will be knighted in the New Year Honours list after a personal request from Boris Johnson, it is reported.
As The Sun exclusively revealed in November, the seven-time world champion, 35, is to be given the gong after his controversial tax affairs were deemed 'all in order'.
British PM Johnson was determined that Hamilton, who has passionately supported the Black Lives Matter movement this season, was recognised for his stunning achievements.
But according to MailOnline, as a result of Hamilton living in 'tax exile in Monaco', Johnson will add his name to the 'Diplomatic and Overseas List' of recipients to avoid any controversy.
The sports honours committee allegedly had reservations about adding him to their list as they believed Hamilton’s Monaco residency 'meant HMRC could not adequately vet his tax affairs'.
Hamilton, who was awarded an MBE in 2008 after his first world title, will become the first ever sportsman to be put on the Overseas list.
This recognises 'people who have given exceptional service to the UK abroad and internationally'.
A source told MailOnline: "Boris made it clear he wanted Lewis knighted so everyone was backed into a corner."
As The Sun reported, Hamilton, worth an estimated £250million, will be given his gong in the New Year after his finances got the green light from the Government’s Honours Committee.
A friend said: “This is an honour that has eluded Lewis for so many years.
“It marks an incredible end to the most wonderful season.”
Another top sports figure said: “He is paying the right amount of tax — all that is due.
“He has been put forward by industry bosses in recognition of his enormous contribution to the sport.”
Despite his Monaco base he is one of the top 5,000 tax-payers in the UK.
In 2017 the Mercedes ace hit out at critics of his tax status, saying: “What people don’t realise is I pay tax here but don’t earn all my money here.
“I race in 19 countries, so I earn my money in 20 different places and pay tax in several different places, and I pay a lot here as well.
“I’m contributing to the country. Not only that, I help keep a team of more than 1,000 people employed.”
Asked previously about a knighthood, Lewis said: “When I think about that honour I think about people like my grandad who served in the war.”
The knighthood for Lewis comes 12 years after he was handed the MBE.
He won his SEVENTH F1 world title this season, and also overtook the legendary Michael Schumacher's race-wins record.
The Hertfordshire-born superstar topped off his historic year by being named BBC Sports Personality of the Year for the second time.
He will become the fourth F1 driver to be knighted after Sir Jack Brabham, Sir Stirling Moss and Sir Jackie Stewart.
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