Tony Blair: 1 million sign petition to ‘rescind’ knighthood from former PM

Blair was PM during the military invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan

Emily Atkinson,Adam Forrest
Friday 07 January 2022 19:43
Tony Blair ‘deserves the honour’ of knighthood, says Keir Starmer

More than one million people have signed a petition to have the ex-Labour prime minister Tony Blair’s knighthood “rescinded”.

It comes after the former PM was made a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, the oldest and most senior British order of chivalry, in the Queen’s New Year’s honours list.

The petition, listed on seven days ago, which aims to strip Blair of the honour for over his decision to go to war with Iraq, topped 1,000,000 signatures on Friday afternoon.

“Tony Blair caused irreparable damage to both the constitution of the United Kingdom and to the very fabric of the nation’s society,” the petition statement reads.

“Tony Blair is the least deserving person of any public honour, particularly anything awarded by Her Majesty the Queen. We petition the prime minister to petition Her Majesty to have this honour removed.”

The petition’s founder, Angus Scott, released a statement on Tuesday thanking those who had signed “on behalf” of the “families of soldiers who died in both Iraq and Afghanistan...pleading for their message to be heard by both the government and the palace.”

Despite the criticism of Sir Tony’s appointment by the Queen, a number of major political players have defended the decision, including current Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

“I don’t think it’s a thorny issue for me at all,” Sir Keir told ITV’s Good Morning Britain earlier this week. “Tony Blair deserves the honour, he won three elections, he was a very successful prime minister.

Arguing Sir Tony was responsible for “many achievements which I think vastly improved our country,” the Labour leader added: “The one I would pick out in particular would be the work he did in Northern Ireland and the peace process and the huge change that has made.”

Ed Davey, leader of the Liberal Democrats, has condemned those who have backed the petition of “disrespecting the Queen.” he said. “If the Queen wants to knight a politician or someone out of politics in any walk of life, I think we should respect Her Majesty.”

Meanwhile, Sir Tony has remembered Labour MP Jack Dromey, who died suddenly on Friday, as “hugely likeable” and popular figure. “I am absolutely shocked and greatly saddened by the news about Jack. I have known him for almost 40 years,” the former Labour leader said.

He added: “He was a complete stalwart of the Labour and trade union movement, who dedicated his life to the service of others whether in his work for his trade union or in later years as a member of parliament.”

“He was also hugely likeable, a very popular colleague and well respected by all who worked with him. Cherie joins me in sending profound condolences to Harriet and all the family.”

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