Keir Starmer defends the knighthood of “very successful prime minister” Tony Blair

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer has dismissed criticism of Sir Tony Blair’s knight, insisting the former prime minister deserves the honor.

More than half a million people have signed a petition calling for the cancellation of the Queen’s appointment of Sir Tony to the Order of the Garter – Britain’s oldest and oldest order of chivalry – in because of his national record and the war in Iraq.

But Sir Keir insisted that honor was not a “thorny” issue and that Sir Tony had been a “very successful prime minister”.

The award could pave the way for Sir Tony’s successors at No.10 to receive similar honors, following reports that the delay in granting the honor was blocking others.

A Change.Org online petition calling for Sir Tony to be stripped of that honor was signed by more than 544,000 people on Tuesday morning.

But Sir Keir told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “I don’t think it’s thorny at all; I think he deserves this honor. Obviously, I respect the fact that people have different points of view.

“I understand that there are strong opinions about the Iraq war. There was then and still is, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that Tony Blair was a very successful Prime Minister of this country and made a huge difference in the lives of millions of people in this country. country.

Meanwhile, Vaccine Minister Maggie Throup told LBC: “I think he’s done a lot of good things. And I think it’s fair that we honor our previous prime ministers. And he was prime minister for so long.

In a hint that Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May could be vying for the honors, she said: “Obviously I think that now opens the door for others to be recognized in the same way.”

House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has suggested all former prime ministers should be offered the knight because “it’s one of the most difficult jobs in the world”.