์Nearly one million people have now thrown their weight behind a petition to have Sir Tony Blair stripped of his knighthood.
The former Prime Minister was made a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, an appointment personally made by the Queen, last week.
The designation is the most senior order of knighthood in the British honours system.
But 989,000 people had called for the honour to be removed on petitions site Change.org by Friday, alleging the former Labour PM’s decision to go to war in Iraq makes him unsuitable.
The petition’s starter, Agnus Scott, said on Thursday: “Families of soldiers who died in both Iraq and Afghanistan
are pleading for their message to be heard by both the Government and the Palace.
“These families have not only had to suffer the devastation of losing a loved one, but are now suffering the distress of witnessing the man responsible for their loved-one’s death being publicly honoured.”
While the decision to award Sir Tony a knighthood has attracted criticism, others have backed the decision saying it recognised his public service.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “I don’t think it’s a thorny issue for me at all. Tony Blair deserves the honour, he won three elections, he was a very successful Prime Minister.
“I haven’t got time this morning to list all of his many achievements which I think vastly improved our country.
“The one I would pick out in particular would be the work he did in Northern Ireland and the peace process and the huge change that has made.”
The Liberal Democrat leader, Sir Ed Davey suggested those criticising the honour were “disrespecting the Queen”.
Additions to the Order of the Garter are made by the monarch personally.
“If the Queen wants to knight a politician or someone out of politics in any walk of life, I think we should respect Her Majesty,” he said.
There are now 21 non-royal ‘companions’ in the order, with a maximum of 24 allowed.
Appointments are for life, and only 40 people have been deemed no longer worthy of the honour and removed from the order in its nearly 700 year history.
Separate petitions relating to Sir Tony and honours have been rejected from the Parliament.uk website, meaning it is unlikely to be considered for a debate in the House of Commons.
This is because petitions about honours are not accepted.