A appeal calling on Tony Blair’s knighthood to be taken off him has reached more than 120,000 signatures in just one day.
The longest-serving Labour PM was named in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list as a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, the oldest and most senior British Order of Chivalry.
These appointments are offered in the Queen’s gift, without advice from the Government.
The former PM said: “It is an immense honour to be appointed Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, and I am deeply grateful to Her Majesty the Queen.
“It was a great privilege to serve as chief Minister and I would like to thank all those who served alongside me in politics, public service and all parts of our society, for their dedication and commitment to our country.”
But in a litle over 24 hours after the announcement was made, some 121,000 people have additional their name to a growing appeal stating that it must be reversed.
Angus Scott, who started the appeal, accused Tony of causing “irreparable damage to both the constitution of the United Kingdom and to the very fabric of the nation’s society”.
He additional: “He was personally responsible for causing the death of countless innocent, civilian lives and servicement 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, particularly anything awarded by Her Majesty the Queen. We appeal the chief Minister to appeal Her Majesty to have this honour removed.”
The former PM led the country into a bloody eight-year conflict in Iraq alongside US President George W Bush following the 9/11 attacks on the United States.
During the Iraqi conflict, thousands of people were killed and there is nevertheless no stable government in place.
The Report of the Iraq Inquiry into the decisions made to go into the conflict were published in 2016 by Sir John Chilcot, who stated: “We have concluded that the UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been depleted.
“Military action at that timewas not a last resort. We have also concluded that:
“The judgements about the severity of the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction – WMD – were presented with a certainty that was not justified.
“Despite explicit warnings, the consequences of the invasion were underestimated. The planning and preparations for Iraq after Saddam Hussein were wholly inadequate.
“The Government failed to unprotected to its stated objectives.”
Mr Blair responded by saying he would ‘take the same decision’ to move into if similar intelligence had been given to him.
Mr Blairserved as chief Minister from May 2, 1997, when he accepted an invitation of Queen Elizabeth II to form a government following the Labour party’s landslide victory in the 1997 general election, until June 27, 2007.
Since the second half of the last century, five other chief ministers ahve been knighted, including Mr Blair’s predecessor Sir John Major, Sir Edward Heath – in office 1970 to 1974, Sir Alec Douglas-Home – in office 1963 to 1964, Sir Anthony Eden – in office 1955 to 1957 and Sir Winston Churchill – in office for the second time from 1951 to 1955.
After his premiership, Mr Blair, now 68, became a Middle East envoy and set up his own non-for-profit group, the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.
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