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LONDON: More than half a million people have called on the UK government to rethink the award of a knighthood to former Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Sir Tony, who served as Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007, was named a Companion Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter – the highest possible honor – in the Queen’s Honor Roll for 2021.
A public online petition calling on the government to push the Queen to quash the honor has garnered more than 550,000 signatures.
The petition says: “Tony Blair has done irreparable damage both to the constitution of the UK and to the very fabric of national society. He was personally responsible for causing the deaths of countless innocent civilians … in various conflicts. For that alone, he should be held responsible for war crimes.
Online petitions in the UK have legal status if they are created on the Parliament website – it was not.
If petitions reach 100,000 signatures on Parliament’s website, they must be considered for debate by MPs.
Sir Tony, who led the Labor Party, has been a controversial figure in British politics since he led the country in the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of British soldiers.
Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer defended the award, telling ITV’s’ Good Morning Britain ‘:’ I think he deserves this honor. Obviously, I respect the fact that people have different points of view.
He added: “I understand that there are strong opinions about the Iraq war. There was then and still is, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that Tony Blair was a very successful Prime Minister of this country and made a huge difference in the lives of millions of people in this country. country.