Demonstrators vent their anger at Tony Blair’s accolade

Inset right: Protesters hold placards reading'Blair' in front of Windsor Castle. Left, Tony Blair, a white man with gray hair, wears a royal black uniform.

It was announced that the ex-Labour PM would be knighted in December (Images: Reuters/AP)

Protesters have marched near Windsor Castle over former Prime Minister Sir Tony Blair’s controversial knighthood.

The news that the former Labor leader has been made a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter – the highest form of knighthood – was announced in the New Year’s Roll of Honor in December.

Sir Tony – who was in No 10 from 1997 to 2007 – was knighted on Friday but will be officially inducted into the order today.

Demonstrators held signs accusing him of war crimes and placards that read “Bliar.”

The politician previously said of the award: “It is a great honor to be made a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter and I am deeply grateful to Her Majesty the Queen.

“It has been a great privilege to be Prime Minister and I would like to thank everyone who has served by my side – in politics, in public service and in all parts of our society – for their service and commitment to our country.”

However, Sir Tony is still criticized for his role in the 2003 Iraq War – a US-led invasion that killed 179 British soldiers.

A protester walks down the street wearing a Tony Blair mask and blue suit. His hands are bound with blood.

Families of those killed in the 2003 Iraq war have previously described Blair’s knighthood as a “kick in the stomach” (Image: Getty Images)

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, center (a white man with gray hair) and former leader of the House of Lords Baroness Amos, center left (a black woman), walk in procession at Windsor Castle.

The Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter is the highest form of knighthood (Image: AP)


More than a million people have signed a petition demanding Blair be stripped of his knighthood (Image: Getty Images)

Shortly after news of Blair’s knighthood broke, a petition was launched that received more than a million signatures.

Its founder, Angus Scott, claimed that Sir Tony had “irreparably damaged both the constitution of the United Kingdom and the very fabric of the nation’s society”.

“Tony Blair is the least deserving of a public honor, particularly one bestowed by Her Majesty the Queen.”

As the petition reached one million in January, voice actor Scott, 55, added: “In my view, the people this petition truly represents are the families of those who have suffered the devastating and horrific consequences of the Iraq war and the apparently still endure that pain today.’

“The focus must now also be on achieving a realistic and achievable result.

People hold signs reading'Blair = Putin' and'Bliar' near Windsor Castle.

While Blair was officially knighted on Friday, he will be inducted into the Order of the Garter today (Image: AP)

“A result that preserves the nation’s tremendous respect for Her Majesty, that helps ease the pain of those who directly suffered and that reconciles those whose signatures lie on this petition.”

The families of those killed in Iraq have also condemned the move to honor Blair, with Corporal Simon Miller’s father calling it “a kick in the gut” and “the cruelest, sickest thing I’ve ever heard”.

John Miller, 70, told “It was an absolute gut punch for me and my wife to see the headlines on New Year’s morning of Tony Blair being knighted.

“It is difficult to describe the pain this news has caused us. We have been fighting for justice for our son Simon since the day he was assassinated in Iraq on June 24, 2003. Our lives have been consumed by it.

“It is an insult to the 179 British soldiers who died because of his decision to drag the country into the Iraq war.”

Other people honored in today’s ceremony are Labor’s Baroness Valerie Amos and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.

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Justin Scacco

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