‘I’m perfectly happy with Tony’: Newly-knighted former PM says he does not want to be called ‘sir’ as he insists he was not ‘surprised’ by backlash over the honour because some people ‘detest’ him
- Tony Blair said he is ‘perfectly happy with Tony’ after he was asked about honour
- Sir Tony said he was not ‘surprised’ at the ferocious backlash over knighthood
- Petition calling for honour to be ‘rescinded’ is now above one million signatures
Tony Blair today suggested he does not want to be called ‘sir’ following his knighthood as he said he is ‘perfectly happy with Tony’.
The former prime minister was awarded the title by the Queen in the New Year honours but it sparked a ferocious backlash.
A petition calling for the knighthood to be ‘rescinded’ has now received more than 1.1million signatures.
Sir Tony said this morning he was not ‘surprised’ by the scale of opposition to him being handed the honour because some people ‘detest’ him over his role in the Iraq war.
Tony Blair today insisted he is ‘perfectly happy with Tony’ as he suggested he does not want to be called ‘sir’ following his knighthood
A YouGov poll at the start of January found almost two thirds of Brits disapprove of Sir Tony getting the honour
Asked during an interview on Times Radio if people should call him ‘Sir Tony’, he replied: ‘I’m perfectly happy with Tony as a matter of fact, that is what feels most natural to me.
‘Look, it was very gracious of the Queen to bestow the honour and I accepted, in a way, not for myself as a person but because of the government that I led and on behalf of the people who worked with me who were dedicated, committed people who provided a lot of change to the country.
‘And of course there would be people who object to it strongly. That’s to be expected. But there it is.’
Sir Tony was asked if he was upset by the petition against him and he said: ‘There are some people who want to say the only thing the government did was Iraq and ignore all the rest of the things we do and for those people, you know, they obviously feel very strongly.
‘But in the end, you know, you don’t, especially in today’s politics, you don’t occupy a position of leadership and take decisions without arousing a lot of opposition and so it didn’t surprise me and again, the best thing is just to accept that of course there will be people who strongly oppose it and you know, detest me for various reasons and this is just what happens to politics.’
A YouGob survey published earlier this month found that 63 per cent of Brits disapproved of the knighthood while 14 per cent approved.
It found that three per cent of people strongly approved of the honour being given to the former PM while 11 per cent tended to approve.
Some 22 per cent tended to disapprove while 41 per cent strongly disapproved and 22 per cent did not know.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk