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Queen Elizabeth II released the 2020 honours list in full earlier this month with names from healthcare, art and sport all receiving recognition. A notable mention was Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford, who has led a campaign for the extension of free school meals throughout 2020, even at one stage forcing the Government into a U-turn. The England international will receive an MBE for his services to vulnerable children throughout the pandemic.
As figures from sport and elsewhere gain recognition, Formula One star Lewis Hamilton’s absence from the list has bemused Lord Peter Hain.
Last weekend, Mr Hamilton broke the all-time F1 record for wins at the Portuguese Grand Prix, taking his 92nd career victory.
The Labour peer, who once campaigned against Apartheid oppression in South Africa, tells Express.co.uk that it is about time the Mercedes driver received some recognition.
He said: “I think Lewis Hamilton self-evidently deserves the top honour that other world class sports people like Andy Murray, Mo Farah and Chris Hoy have been given.
“They received well-deserved knighthoods, and it would be absolutely astonishing if Hamilton didn’t join them.
“Frankly, it would raise serious questions about the honours system as well as Number 10’s stance on it.”
The six-time F1 world champion has dominated his sport for years, but has also emerged as a prominent campaigner for racial equality.
Fellow British racing stalwart David Coulthard echoed Lord Hain this week.
He told BBC Radio 5 Live: “I don’t understand why so many world championships into his career (he hasn’t been awarded knighthood).”
Earlier this year, Lord Hain spoke of how Mr Hamilton, along with Marcus Rashford, had proven why sports stars should speak out.
He told Express.co.uk: “He is a Briton to be proud of and is a role model for other sports people of any colour.
“I think it’s good that Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford have been vocal, Megan Rapinoe is another example.
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“There’s been a break from the idea that sports people should be seen on the pitch or the track but never heard.
“It’s good that sports people are speaking out on social justice and morality and Lewis has done that admirably.”
On the track, Mr Hamilton looks poised to reap yet more success with a seventh world title.
The Mercedes driver is top of the driver’s standings ahead by 77 points.
There are five races remaining, with the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix up next at the Imola track.
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