Tony Blair: Mother of dead soldier slams knighthood
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More than a million people have signed a petition calling for Sir Tony to have his recent knighthood stripped over his role in the Iraq War. The Queen controversially made the former UK leader a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter at the same time as her New Year’s honours list was published. The longest-serving Labour Prime Minister received the most senior honour Her Majesty can award some 14 years after he left Downing Street.
However, the one million-strong petition now calls for Sir Tony to have the honour rescinded by the Queen due to the “irreparable damage” he has done to the UK.
While the Queen has been caught up in the row over the knighthood for Sir Tony, her late husband, Prince Philip was once said to have had his own row with the former Prime Minister.
The Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away last April, once told Sir Tony’s team to “f*** off”, according to unearthed claims.
Adam Boulton recalled the row in his 2008 book, “Tony’s Ten Years: Memories of the Blair Administration”.
A conference call took place between Sir Tony’s communications team and Philip in the run-up to Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997.
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Philip was reportedly angry after it had been suggested that princes William and Harry walk behind their mother’s coffin to “show the royals cared”.
Mr Boulton wrote: “The Queen relished the moment when Philip bellowed over the speakerphone from Balmoral, ‘F*** off.
“‘We are talking about two boys who have just lost their mother.’”
The call was made from Balmoral to Buckingham Palace, where members of Sir Tony’s team were making arrangements with royal staff.
Among them was the ex-Prime Minister’s former spin doctor and architect of the New Labour movement, Alastair Campbell.
Mr Boulton’s wife, Anji Hunter, also recalled the incident for the 2017 BBC documentary, “Diana, 7 Days”.
Ms Hunter was Sir Tony’s director of government relations.
She said: “I can remember – it sends a tingle up my back.
“We were all talking about how William and Harry should be involved and suddenly came Prince Philip’s voice.
“We hadn’t heard from him before, but he was really anguished.”
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This week Sir Tony, who was Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007, was accused of “war crimes” in the petition on the change.org website.
The petition claims: “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.”
The petition was launched by Angus Scott, an actor who had a role in Netflix’s royal drama, “The Crown”.
His call for action urges the Prime Minister Boris Johnson to encourage the Queen to have Sir Tony’s honour removed.
However, unlike Her Majesty’s New Year’s honours list, which the Government puts forward, the Order of the Garter is an honour given out at the monarch’s behest.
“Tony’s Ten Years: Memories of the Blair Administration” was written by Adam Boulton and published by Simon & Schuster in 2008. It is available here.
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