Man who took country to war over non-existent weapons of mass destruction is knighted

Former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair is made a Sir in the New Year Honours list, 14 years after leaving office.

Tony Blair has been appointed to the Order of the Garter as a Knight Companion.

The decision to ennoble the former prime minister – or Sir Tony, as he will now be known – has been much debated in recent years.

All but one of the prime ministers before him were appointed a few years after leaving office. But Sir Tony waited over 14 years.

It had been suggested that the Queen’s strained relationship with him during his ten years in power may have contributed to the ‘snub’.

Sir Tony, who held the keys to Number 10 between 1997 and 2007, is appointed a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, the oldest and most senior British Order of Chivalry.

The appointment, which is made by the Queen, has regularly been bestowed upon past prime ministers, with Sir John Major, Sir Tony’s predecessor, the last to receive the honour.

Sir Tony, a former Labour leader, said: ‘It is an immense honour to be appointed Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, and I am deeply grateful to Her Majesty the Queen.

‘It was a great privilege to serve as prime minister and I would like to thank all those who served alongside me, in politics, public service and all parts of our society, for their dedication and commitment to our country.’

Sir Tony led New Labour to a landslide victory in 1997, winning two subsequent general elections before quitting Westminster a decade later, paving the way for his chancellor Gordon Brown to take over as prime minister.

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