One million people have signed a petition to have former prime minister Tony Blair’s knighthood “rescinded”.
The Queen appointed Blair a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter. This is the oldest and most senior British Order of Chivalry.
The Change.org petition which aims to strip the former prime minister of his appointment reached one million signatures on Friday 7 January.
A statement accompanying the petition said:
Tony Blair caused irreparable damage to both the constitution of the United Kingdom and to the very fabric of the nation’s society.
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He was personally responsible for causing the death of countless innocent civilian lives and servicemen in various conflicts. For this alone he should be held accountable for war crimes.
Tony Blair is the least deserving person of any public honour…
We petition the Prime Minister to petition Her Majesty to have this honour removed.
Made Britain better with an illegal war
The knighthood has provoked debate about the honours system. Labour leader Keir Starmer said Boris Johnson has not “earned the right” of a knighthood after leaving office.
But Starmer insisted his predecessor at the top of the Labour Party had earned his knighthood. Starmer argued that Blair had “made Britain a better country”.
Blair’s former defence secretary Geoff Hoon wrote in his recent memoir that Downing Street ordered his office to burn a secret memo saying the 2003 Iraq invasion could be illegal, according to the Daily Mail.
Appointments to the Garter are in the Queen’s gift and made without prime ministerial advice. They’re usually announced on St George’s Day, 23 April. But the Queen can do so at any time, and chose this one to coincide with the New Year Honours.
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