They accused him of sending their children to die in the Iraq war

Britons call for Blair to be stripped of the Queen's knighthood

  • Queen Elizabeth awards a knighthood to Blair.

    Getty

  • Tony Blair.

    archival

picture

More than 600,000 Britons have signed an online petition calling for the revocation of the Knight's Medal given by Queen Elizabeth to former Prime Minister Tony Blair over his connection to the Iraq war and to send hundreds of British soldiers there, some of whom died in that war.

This petition, which has no legal force, states that Blair was "personally responsible" for causing the deaths of countless civilians and military personnel in "various conflicts", including the Iraq war, and that he "should be held accountable for war crimes."

Some Britons described Blair as a hypocrite for accepting the knighthood after he led a campaign to strip the late Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe of the medal awarded to him by Queen Elizabeth, which was stripped of it in 2003.

Conservative MP Andrew Ropatan had asked Tony Blair in the House of Commons in 2003 to ask the Queen to withdraw the medal from Mugabe. "Many people will find it unusual for Tony Blair to think Mugabe should be deprived of the medal when he himself does not see himself as a hypocrite in accepting it," Lord Ropatan told the Mail.

And Blair justified stripping Mugabe of the title of equestrian in December 2003, eight months after the start of the Iraq war, and claimed that depriving him of this honor is one way to change the regime in Zimbabwe.

Mugabe was eventually ousted in a coup in 2017, and died two years later.

Mugabe was awarded an Honorary Knighthood in 1994 when Sir John Major was prime minister.

Mugabe was eventually stripped of the medal by the last Labor government, led by Gordon Brown.

The Queen revoked an honorary knighthood in 2008, after a recommendation from then-foreign secretary David Miliband in reference to his human rights abuse and blatant disregard for the democratic process.

In that petition, the mothers of service members who died in the Iraq war urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to release all confidential documents relating to Tony Blair's wars.

This request comes after Blair's defense minister, Geoff Hoon, revealed in his memoirs that he had received orders to burn a note warning that the invasion of Iraq might be illegal.

Rose Gentle, whose 19-year-old son Gordon was killed by a roadside bomb in southern Iraq in 2004, is leading a legal campaign to expose state secrets about the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. She is now supported by five other mothers - Carol Valentine, Hazel Hunt, Caroline Wittarch, Caroline Jane Munday-Baker and Helen Berry - who have already written to the Queen, urging her to strip Sir Tony of his knighthood for sending soldiers to war. "On false grounds."

"It is time for Boris Johnson to step up and release the secrets of these horrible wars to atone for the wrong that took the lives of hundreds and hundreds of young people," Gentle said. "The truth must now emerge and the only person who must be held accountable and imprisoned is Blair."

In his memoirs "Look How They Escape," Hoon says that his private secretary was instructed by Blair's chief of staff at the time, Jonathan Powell, to "burn" a document in which Attorney General Lord Goldsmith talks about the tragedies of the Iraq war.

Hoon later confirmed that the document had been withheld rather than destroyed.

• Some Britons described Blair as a hypocrite for accepting the knighthood after he led a campaign to strip the late Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe of this medal granted to him by Queen Elizabeth, which was stripped of it in 2003.

Follow our latest local and sports news and the latest political and economic developments via Google news

Keywords: