Petition to strip Sir Tony Blair of knighthood reaches a million signatures

8 January 2022, 01:39

More than a million people want Sir Tony Blair to be stripped of the honour
More than a million people want Sir Tony Blair to be stripped of the honour. Picture: Alamy

By Elizabeth Haigh

More than a million people have signed a petition calling for former PM Sir Tony Blair to have his knighthood removed, with the founder claiming he is "overwhelmed" with the response.

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The Queen appointed the former Prime Minister a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter in the New Year honours list.

This is the highest form of knighthood that can be bestowed.

The petition to remove the honour was set up a week ago on Change.org, and reached 500,000 signatures on Monday, with the founder saying he had been "overwhelmed" with the response from the public.

"I am overwhelmed and genuinely moved by the level of support that this petition has received," Angus Scott told the Metro.

He went on to call for a "realistic and achievable outcome", suggesting Sir Tony instead decline the award.

"Mr Blair's supporters state he is a principled and honourable man," Mr Scott said. "So, in this regard and from a humble and personal stance, I appeal to Mr Blair's sense of honour, to validate his supporters' faith in him by taking the higher path and courteously declining this award."

Read more: Half a million sign petition for Tony Blair to be stripped of knighthood

A statement on the petition's page says: "Tony Blair 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 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, particularly anything awarded by Her Majesty the Queen."

"We petition the Prime Minister to petition Her Majesty to have this honour removed."

Read more: Tony Blair says Keir Starmer must shun 'woke' issues if Labour is to win power

The former PM was elected to Downing Street in a landslide victory in 1997, going on to win another two elections.

Read more: Tony Blair made a Sir as he is given most senior knighthood in New Year Honours list

He was Prime Minister when Allied forces invaded Iraq in 2003, and Afghanistan in 2001.

The western world has come under criticism for the invasion of Iraq, which resulted in an eight year war in which 179 British service personnel lost their lives.

Sir Tony, 68, 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.

Former Labour MP Luciana Berger told LBC this week the decision to award Sir Tony with the honour is "the right one."