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Father of a soldier killed in the Iraq war condemns Tony Blair knighthood

THE father of a soldier killed in the Iraq war has condemned the award of a knighthood to warmonger Tony Blair.

Peter Brierley, whose son Shaun was killed in Iraq in 2003, said that the honour for the former prime minister was “an insult to the families who had lost their loved ones.”

Speaking at a Stop the War Coalition meeting of nearly 200 peace activists on Thursday night, he said: “I am personally devasted by my loss, but the country Blair left behind has also been decimated."

Mr Brierley labelled Mr Blair “a war criminal” who should be in The Hague facing charges at the International Criminal Court.

Activist Salma Yaqoob, speaking at the meeting, insisted that “words do matter and the lies that were told by Tony Blair also matter.”

She added: “It has been shown recently that the Queen is able to withdraw titles that she has bestowed. 

“She should do the same thing with Tony Blair. It is within her gift to do so.”

Stop the War Coalition convener Lindsey German said that she was still “in shock and disbelief” over the knighting of Mr Blair. 

“Blair has never showed any remorse for the consequences of the war,” she said. “In fact, he has said he would do the same thing again. 

“His legacy is the death and destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan. That should not be rewarded.”

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn reminded the meeting that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, “who is guilty of nothing but telling the truth, sits in Belmarsh prison while someone who told lies and caused many thousands to die is given an honour.”

Mr Corbyn said that many of the people trying to reach refuge in Britain by crossing the English Channel “are victims of war and climate change and are struggling to cope with the pandemic.”

He called on the government “to mobilise for a sustainable world and for free healthcare, rather than continuing to sustain the arms trade and war.”

More than a million people have signed an online petition seeking withdrawal of Mr Blair’s knighthood, which is due to be formally conferred at a Windsor Castle ceremony in June.

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