Petition to strip Tony Blair of knighthood hits 400,000 signatures 1 week ago

Petition to strip Tony Blair of knighthood hits 400,000 signatures

The number of signatures has almost tripled in 24 hours

The petition to scrap Tony Blair's knighthood has hit 400,000 signatures, as the decision continues to spark anger and fury amongst many.

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In just one day the Change.org petition has seen its number of signatures rise from around 130,000 to more than 400,000, with several other petitions on the site calling for similar action having tens of thousands of signatures themselves.

It's as the decision to make Blair a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter continues to draw criticism from many, including families of British soldiers who died in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The former Labour leader has faced criticism for years for his decision to send British forces to Afghanistan and Iraq.

On Saturday, Lindsey German, the convenor of the Stop the War Coalition, said Sir Tony's knighthood was a 'kick in the teeth for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan'.

She told LBC radio: "I think it’s pretty incredible given that this year, we’ve seen the collapse of Afghanistan, which [was] Tony Blair’s first major war in the war on terror.

"We have 8 million people on the edge of starvation in Afghanistan now. We have Iraq in a terrible state now, nearly 20 years after the invasion.

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"And I think it’s a kick in the teeth for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, and a kick in the teeth for all the people who protested against the war in Iraq and who have been proved right."

Meanwhile, one military mother, Carol Valentine, told the Mirror that Sir Tony's knighthood is the 'ultimate insult', after her son Simon was killed while he cleared land mines in Afghanistan in 2009.

And Hazel Hunt, whose son Richard died in Afghanistan, said she was "contemplating sending the Elizabeth Cross back as a sign of my protest."

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But the Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle has defended Blair's knighthood. It is traditional that all former prime ministers are made a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, and Sir Lindsay said he believed it was right that this should continue.

He told Radio 4's Today programme: "Whatever people might think, it is one of the toughest jobs in the world and I think it is respectful and it is the right thing to do, whether it is to Tony Blair or to David Cameron.

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"They should all be offered that knighthood when they finish as prime minister. I would say if you’ve been prime minister of this country, I do believe the country should recognise the service they’ve given.

"It is not about politics, it is about the position they have held in this country. It’s about the position and it’s the respect that we show to those people who’ve led this country.

"And I think it’s a fitting tribute to the job they’ve carried out."