Thursday, 20 Jan 2022

George Galloway organising huge protest against Tony Blair’s knighthood

Tony Blair: Galloway 'begs' Queen to remove knighthood

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Sir Tony was included in the New Year’s Honours list and has been given the highest possible ranking of knighthood. He called the appointment “an immense honour”. But others have been far less impressed, particularly due to his record as Prime Minister of leading Britain into war with Iraq.

Criticism has been launched from across the political spectrum.

Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens suggested Sir Tony becoming Knight of the Garter marks “the precise moment when this country finally disappeared up its own digestive tract”.

Guardian columnist Simon Jenkins said it was “more evidence, if it were needed, that our entire ‘honours’ system and its associated nomenclature is an outdated mess”.

Frustration with the decision extends beyond newspaper columnists, with a petition for the knighthood to be rescinded having gained well over one million signatures in little more than a week.

Now, a protest against Sir Tony receiving the high honour is in the works.

Mr Galloway, leader of the Workers Party of Britain, announced plans for a protest on Twitter.

He wrote: “Myself and Angus Scott will organise a protest in Windsor in June against the investiture of Sir Tony [written as # JailBlair] as a Knight of the Garter.”

Mr Scott is the creator of the Change.org petition, titled: “Tony Blair to have his ‘Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter’ rescinded.”

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Explaining the need for the knighthood to be rescinded, he wrote: “Tony Blair caused irreparable damage to both the constitution of the United Kingdom and to the very fabric of the nation’s society.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.”

He added: “Tony Blair is the least deserving person of any public honour, particularly anything awarded by Her Majesty the Queen.”

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At 7pm on Monday evening, the petition had been signed by more than 1,078,000 people.

Change.org notes that, at 1,500,000 signatures, the petition could become of the the “top signed” on the website.

The Knight of the Garter title is a personal gift of the Queen, without advice from the Prime Minister.

It is the highest possible ranking of knighthood.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Speaker of the House of Commons, has defended the giving of the honour to Sir Tony, noting that former prime ministers “should all be offered that knighthood when they finish” in their roles.

Mr Galloway has asked those who disagree to contact himself and Mr Scott.

A provisional date in June has been set for the protest.

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