Europe

Queen's 'refusal to knight Tony Blair is “gong-blocking” David Cameron'

Tony Blair is reportedly ‘gong-blocking’ other former prime ministers, including David Cameron and Gordon Brown, as the Queen is reluctant to give him a knighthood.

All but one of the Queen’s nine prime ministers before Blair have been given the Order of the Garter, except for Alec Douglas-Home who was handed the Order of the Thistle.

The Sun reported that sources say there is a ‘block’ on PMs since then getting the honour, as the Queen doesn’t want to award Blair over his handling of Diana’s death.

One insider told the paper: ‘Blair is the block but they just won’t do it.’

But they added that there is ‘concern in the palace that senior orders are beginning to look politically unbalanced’.

Tories hold more of the highest honours than those from other political parties. Of the 102 posts in the Order of the Garter, Order of the Thistle, Order of Merit and Order of the Companions of Honour, they have 22. Labour have four and Lib Dems have three.

The Sunday Times also reported that Blair is a ‘gong-blocker’ for other prime ministers due to the Queen’s ‘dislike’ of him.

The paper reported that there were suggestions that Gordon Brown be made an Order of the Thistle to avoid embarrassment of him being made Order of the Garter before Blair.

It is 13 years since Blair left office, but he has yet to become Sir Tony – even though previous PMs such as John Major and Margaret Thatcher were given the Order of the Garter.

The order of the Garter is the highest order of chivalry that the Queen can award. Only 24 people can hold it at one time, and it was created in 1348 by Edward III.

A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace declined to comment.

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