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- Former prime minister of the United Kingdom (born 1953)
An online petition to strip Tony Blair of his knighthood has reached 1million signatures.
The former Labour prime minister, who was in power from 1997 to 2007, was made a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter in the New Year’s honours on the recommendation of the Queen.
However, his appointment immediately sparked anger among critics and campaigners over his role in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
A statement from the petitioner, Angus Scott, said 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.”
However, the honour is unlikely to be debated by MPs as the petition was not created on the parliament website.
Appointments to the garter are a gift of the Queen and are made without the prime minister’s advice.
In a statement, Blair said it was an “immense honour” and “a great privilege to serve as prime minister”.
While there has been vocal opposition online to Blair receiving the honour, he has received the backing of the current Labour leader Keir Starmer — who is also a sir.
Starmer said he understood there were “strong views” on the Iraq war but said he personally though Blair was deserving of the honour as a “very successful prime minister of this country”.
Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey 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.
“And I’m rather worried that people are being disrespectful to Her Majesty.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.