Politics

Sir Tony Blair: One million sign petition to strip him of knighthood

The former prime minister was knighted with the UK's highest possible ranking in the 2022 New Year Honours list.

More than a million people have signed a petition to have former prime minister Sir Tony Blair's knighthood rescinded.

Sir Tony, who was prime minister during the allied military invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, was appointed by the Queen a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter in the 2022 New Year Honours list.

However, a petition to have the honour rescinded has gathered more than one million signatures.  

A statement accompanying the petition said Sir Tony "caused irreparable damage to both the constitution of the United Kingdom and to the very fabric of the nation's society".

"He was personally responsible for causing the death of countless innocent, civilian lives and servicement in various conflicts," it said.

"For this alone, he should be held accountable for war crimes.

Former prime minister Tony Blair visiting 19 Light Brigade troops in Iraq (Picture: MOD).

"Tony Blair is the least deserving person of any public honour, particularly anything awarded by Her Majesty the Queen."

The Change.org petition was set up on 1 January and reached 580,000 signatures by 4 January. 

Earlier this week, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer defended Sir Tony and said "he deserved the honour".

"I understand there are strong views on the Iraq war," he said.

"There were back at the time and there still are, but that does not detract from the fact that Tony Blair was a very successful prime minister of this country and made a huge difference to the lives of millions of people in this country."

Sir Tony, a former barrister, became a Middle East envoy and set up his own non-for-profit group, the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, after leaving politics.

Appointments to the Garter are in the Queen's gift and are made without prime ministerial advice.