More than 120,000 people have signed a petition calling for Tony Blair to have his upcoming knighthood rescinded.
It was announced the former Prime Minister would be handed one of the most senior titles in the Queen’s New Year’s Honour List - Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.
Responding to the news, Tony Blair issued a statement through the Tony Blair Foundation, which read: “It is an immense honour to be appointed Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, and I am deeply grateful to Her Majesty the Queen.
"It was a great privilege to serve as Prime Minister and I would like to thank all those who served alongside me in politics, public service and all parts of our society, for their dedication and commitment to our country.”
However, the news sparked a backlash with some critics accusing the former PM of being a ‘war criminal’ over his involvement in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Angus Scott, who launched the Change.org petition, wrote: “He was personally responsible for causing the deaths of countless innocent civilians 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.
"We petition the Prime Minister to petition Her Majesty to have this honour removed."
Alongside former US President George Bush, Blair took the UK into two wars in the wake of 9/11.
A 2016 inquiry into the decisions to enter the conflicts found that the UK ‘chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted’.
It went on: "Military action at that time was not a last resort.
"We have also concluded that:
"The judgements about the severity of the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction – WMD – were presented with a certainty that was not justified.
"Despite explicit warnings, the consequences of the invasion were underestimated. The planning and preparations for Iraq after Saddam Hussein were wholly inadequate.
"The Government failed to achieve its stated objectives."
In response to the report, Blair insisted that he would ‘take the same decision’ if he was given similar intelligence.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy