Lord Hain says Lewis Hamilton being overlooked for knighthood is ‘unacceptable’

Lewis Hamilton's omission from the current list of sporting greats who have received a knighthood has been described as "unacceptable" by Lord Hain, the former Labour cabinet minister.

Following Hamilton's sixth world championship triumph last year, Hain wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson making the case for the British driver to be granted an upgrade on the MBE he was awarded 12 years ago.

But Hamilton's achievements were overlooked in the subsequent New Year honours' list.

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Formula One Grand Prix wins.

On Sunday, Hamilton, 35, claimed the 92nd win of his career to stand alone as Formula One's most victorious driver of all-time.

He is also set to close out a record-equalling seventh world championship next month.

"You have got Andy Murray, Mo Farah, Bradley Wiggins who have all been given knighthoods in recent years, and I cannot understand why Lewis Hamilton hasn't," Hain, who serves as Vice Chair of the All Parliamentary Group on F1, told the PA news agency. "Frankly, it is unacceptable.

"He has broken the record for the number of Formula One races won, and he will be a world champion for a seventh time – records that are unlikely to be surpassed.

"This is a kid from a very deprived background, who is black, and has made it in what is a rich person's sport – an incredible achievement.

""He has been inspirational on the whole question of racism and Black Lives Matter. He supports charities and works on climate change.

"On the topic of tax, which is said to be a niggle, Lewis is a top British tax payer.
He has a house in London, and I have explained all of this. It's baffling."

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File photo dated 03-11-2019 of Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates victory in the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas.
Lewis Hamilton posing for a picture with his second-placed 2019 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award.
File photo dated 03-11-2019 of Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning his sixth world championship after the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas.
File photo dated 13-07-2019 of Mercedes' driver Lewis Hamilton in action during third practice for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Towcester.
File photo dated 14-07-2019 of Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton celebrates with fans after winning the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Towcester.
Lewis Hamilton attending the Fashion Awards 2019 at the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London. Picture credit should read: Doug Peters/EMPICS
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team�s British driver Lewis Hamilton competes during the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix race at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. (Photo by Jure Makovec / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team�s British driver Lewis Hamilton arrives for the drivers parade ahead of the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix race at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. (Photo by Jure Makovec / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Winner Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team�s British driver Lewis Hamilton (2nd R), second placed Red Bull Racing�s Dutch driver Max Verstappen (2nd L) and third placed Scuderia Ferrari�s Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc (R) celebrate after the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix race at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. (Photo by Jure Makovec / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Lewis Hamilton (GBR, Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport) during the Grand Prix Formula One Abu Dhabi 2019 in United Arab Emirates. 29 Nov 2019. (Photo by pressinphoto/Sipa USA)
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W10 during the Grand Prix Formula One Abu Dhabi 2019 in United Arab Emirates. 29 Nov 2019. (Photo by pressinphoto/Sipa USA)
Mercedes team photo with Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W10 and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W10 during the Grand Prix Formula One Abu Dhabi 2019 in United Arab Emirates. 29 Nov 2019. (Photo by pressinphoto/Sipa USA)
Lewis Hamilton (GBR, Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport) during the Grand Prix Formula One Abu Dhabi 2019 in United Arab Emirates. 29 Nov 2019. (Photo by pressinphoto/Sipa USA)
McLaren Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain adjusts his fireproof balaclava as he prepares for the second day practice session in Melbourne March 17, 2007. The first race of the F1 Grand Prix season will be held on Sunday at the Melbourne Grand Prix circuit. REUTERS/Scott Wensley (AUSTRALIA)
Formula One F1 - Steiermark Grand Prix - Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria - July 12, 2020 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton wears a protective face mask as he celebrates winning the race on the podium, following the resumption of F1 after the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Joe Klamar/Pool via REUTERS
Formula One F1 - Russian Grand Prix - Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia - September 29, 2019 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton celebrates by kissing the trophy on the podium after winning the race REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Formula One F1 - Hungarian Grand Prix - Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary - August 4, 2019 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton gestures on the podium as he celebrates winning the Hungarian Grand Prix as Red Bull's Max Verstappen looks on REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning his fifth drivers' title during the F1 Mexico Grand Prix at the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit in Mexico City on October 28, 2018. Alfredo Estrella/Pool via REUTERS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Formula One F1 - Japanese Grand Prix - Suzuka Circuit, Suzuka, Japan - October 7, 2018 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the race REUTERS/Issei Kato TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Formula One F1 - Hungarian Grand Prix - Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary - July 29, 2018 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium after winning the race REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Formula One - F1 - Spanish Grand Prix - Barcelona-Catalunya racetrack, Montmelo Spain - 14/05/17 - Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium. REUTERS/Juan Medina TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Formula One - Australia Grand Prix - Melbourne, Australia - 18/03/16 - Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton (L) and Mercedes representative Niki Lauda speak in the team garage at the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne. REUTERS/Brandon Malone TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Formula One - F1 - United States Grand Prix 2015 - Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, United States of America - 25/10/15Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the race and the world championshipMandatory Credit: Action Images / Hoch ZweiLivepicPLEASE NOTE: FOR UK EDITORIAL SALES ONLY. FOR ALL OTHER USAGE ADDITIONAL FEES WILL APPLY - PLEASE CONTACT YOUR ACCOUNT MANAGER. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
Formula One - F1 - United States Grand Prix 2015 - Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, United States of America - 25/10/15 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the race and the world championship Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Hoch Zwei Livepic PLEASE NOTE: FOR UK EDITORIAL SALES ONLY. FOR ALL OTHER USAGE ADDITIONAL FEES WILL APPLY - PLEASE CONTACT YOUR ACCOUNT MANAGER. *** Local Caption *** - *** Local Caption *** -
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) leaves the winners podium as Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain (R) sprays champagne in celebration after winning the Russian F1 Grand Prix in Sochi, Russia, October 11, 2015. Hamilton won the race ahead of Ferrari Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany who finished second and Force India Formula One driver Sergio Perez of Mexico who placed third. At rear is Andy Cowell of Mercedes, winner of the race's constructor trophy. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates with his team after winning the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi November 23, 2014. REUTERS/Caren Firouz (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Tags: SPORT MOTORSPORT F1 TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
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Hain confirmed he intends to write a second letter to Downing Street when Hamilton, who holds a 77-point over Valtteri Bottas with just five races remaining, secures his seventh title – most likely to be at the Turkish Grand Prix on November 15.

But he added: "I don't think it needs a letter from me to be frank. It should have happened already and it needs to happen now."

Hamilton celebrated his landmark triumph at the Portuguese Grand Prix with his father, Anthony.

Anthony worked four jobs to pave the way for his first son to start out in motor racing. Estranged for a number of years after Lewis sacked Anthony as his manager in 2010, they shared a long embrace after the race.

"To a degree, I think the UK has missed a trick if they don't want to recognise Lewis," said Hamilton Snr.

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Lewis Hamilton's One Grand Prix wins.

"At the end of the day, the encouragement is if you want to better your life then be decent people. We've done that and I don't think we could do any more."

Speaking on talkSPORT, he added: "It was an absolutely unbelievable day. It took me back to when Lewis started karting at eight years of age. The culmination of all of our dreams.

"I said to him there were no words. We were both just dumbfounded. Don't forget we started off in a council house when Lewis was five or six years of age. We had no idea we'd end up here.

"I knew he was capable of greatness because when someone commits themselves and says 'I'm going to do everything you say and this is what I want to be', there are no limits, as long as you are dedicated and seek out your dreams."

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