LABOUR have called for Theresa May’s knighthood for Geoffrey Boycott to be revoked.

The cricketer, who was fined £5000 by a French court in 1998 for punching his then girlfriend in the face 20 times, has dismissed the row, saying he doesn’t “give a toss” about the controversy.

Downing Street moved to distance Boris Johnson from May’s decision to give Boycott a gong in her resignation honours. A No10 spokesman said the knighthood was a “matter for the last Prime Minister”.

Labour’s shadow women and equalities minister Dawn Butler said the reward was proof that the honours system needed reformed: “Celebrating a man convicted of assaulting his partner by giving him a knighthood is an insult to victims and survivors of domestic violence.

“Honouring a perpetrator of domestic violence just because he is the former Prime Minister’s favourite sportsman shows how out of touch and nepotistic the honours list is.

“Boris Johnson should rescind his knighthood today. The whole honours system needs radically overhauling, alongside peerages, so that our political system works for the many not the few.”

Adina Claire, co-acting chief executive of Women’s Aid, 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.”

Boycott received a conviction in a French court in 1998 for assaulting his then girlfriend, Margaret Moore, in a Riviera hotel.

He has always denied the assault.

During an interview yesterday morning he was asked to respond to the Women’s Aid boss’s criticism. He told the show’s host Martha Kearney: “I couldn’t give a toss about her, love.

“Twenty-five years ago. You can take your political nature and do whatever you want with it. I couldn’t give a toss.

“You want to talk to me about my knighthood, it’s very nice of you to have me. But I couldn’t give a toss.”

The 78-year-old, who is on of May’s sporting heroes, and is a regular part of the BBC’s cricket commentary team, added: “It’s very difficult to prove your innocence in another country, in another language.

“I have to live with it – and I do. I’m clear in my mind, and I think most people in England are, that it’s not true.”

He was fined and given a three-month suspended prison sentence after Moore suffered bruising to her forehead and blackened eyes.

During the trial, the court heard Boycott pinned Moore down and punched her repeatedly before checking out of the hotel and leaving her to pay the bill.

Boycott says Moore slipped after flying into a rage when he refused to marry her.

He has previously accused her of putting a “stain on my name”.

In a subsequent interview, Boycott said that the day had been “soured” by Kearney.

He told BBC’s Look North Yorkshire: “Is that what interviewing is about – is it always to ask difficult questions?”

“Shouldn’t it be just a nice day for me?” he asked.

The rest of the 37 men and 20 women on May’s resignation list are mostly her former aides and Tory supporters .