Politics

‘Call me Tony!’ Smug Blair asks Brits to use his first name despite knighthood

Sir Ed Davey warns critics of Sir Tony Blair's knighthood

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The peculiar comment was made by Sir Tony during an interview with Times Radio where he discussed his honour bestowed on him by The Queen in her New Year’s Honours, which will see him become Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, and broached the ferocious backlash the award has prompted.

But discussing the title change, Sir Tony said that he is “perfectly happy” being reffered to simply as “Tony”.

He added this was “because it is what feels most natural to me.”

The former Labour leader went on to say it was “very gracious of the Queen” to bestow him with the knighthood.

But he claimed he did not accept the title just for himself, but also for others.

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He said: “I accepted in a way not for myself as a person, but because of the Government that I led.

“And on behalf of the people who worked with me who were dedicated, committed people who provided a lot of change to the country.”

He also acknowledged that it was to ”be expected” for people to have “objected to it strongly” as he drew on the almighty backlash his knighthood has caused.

But he simply cast off the criticism saying “but there it is” as he swiftly moved on from the topic.

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A Change.org petition to strip the the former Labour leader of the honour has now reached 1.14 million signatures.

The petition argues Sir Tony’s role in sending Britain to war in Iraq amounted to “war crimes” but it is not a binding petition and the Government have no requirement to act on it and currently have no plans to.

The award also sparked a raft of grieving mothers, widows and family members of those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan to call on the title to be stripped from him.

One mother, who’s daughter Sharron Elliott was killed in a patrol boat near Basra on Remembrance Sunday 2006, said the award had left her “disgusted”.

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Speaking to the East Anglian Daily Times, Elsie Manning said: “I was absolutely disgusted. It’s just a real insult to all those kids that have died and were injured and who are struggling with life.

“We as families are absolutely gutted. It’s just heartbreaking really to think he’s being rewarded for all the deaths that have happened.”

Sir Tony has stressed he has no plans to enter the House of Lords and would turn down a peerage.

The Labour leader held the keys to Number 10 Downing Street for ten-years between 1997-2007.

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