Former Streatham MP turns down knighthood

Streatham Guardian: Keith Hill Keith Hill

Streatham's former MP, Keith Hill, has turned down an offer to be knighted, saying he would find the title "rather embarassing."

Mr Hill, who stepped down as the area's MP after 18 years before the last general election, said although he was honoured to be considered for a knighthood, he would rather just be "plain old Keith" than a "sir".

His decision to turn down the knighthood comes after he discovered he was to be offered the title when the news was published on the Houses of Parliament website three weeks ago.

He said: "My assumption has always been that you would at least be given the chance to say no, but there was no proper consultation. I found out when I saw it on the site."

He added: "My fundamental reason is that I have never had the least desire to have a title. I don't want to be discorteous, but I find the whole idea a little embarrassing and too much for me."

He said he had written to Primeminister David Cameron to explain how he felt about the knighthood, and said while he meant "no disrespect" to David Cameron or the Queen, he had respectfully declined the offer.

Mr Hill joins an illustrious list of people who are known to have turned down honours. They include rock legend David Bowie, celebrity cook Nigella Lawson and comedy duo Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, children's author Roald Dahl, and poet Philip Larkin.

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