Boris Johnson Has Not Earnt Right to Get Knighted, Says Labour Party Head

© REUTERS / UK PARLIAMENT/JESSICA TAYLORBritain's Labour Party leader, Keir Starmer attends a session in Parliament, in London
Britain's Labour Party leader, Keir Starmer attends a session in Parliament, in London - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.01.2022
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Arguing that Tony Blair deserves the honour bestowed upon him by the Queen, Starmer said that his predecessor had been “a very successful prime minister”.
In the wake of a row that has erupted over the bestowing of a knighthood on former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair by the Queen, UK Labour party leader Sir Keir Starmer has declared that, although he thinks Blair deserves that honour, he could not say the same about the present Prime Minister Boris Johnson, The Mirror reports.
Blair has been appointed a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter in the New Year's Honours list; unlike most other honours, this title is the gift of the Queen and not awarded on the advice of the government.
"No I'm sorry, I do not think that this Prime Minister has earnt the right to have an honour,” Starmer said when asked by the media outlet whether Johnson should receive an accolade similar to Blair’s.
Starmer went on to criticise Johnson further, insisting that politics is hardly a “branch of entertainment industry".
"I think [politics] is the serious business of getting things done," he remarked. "We have a Prime Minister who thinks the rules apply to anyone but him. Just when trust in government has become a matter of life and death, for the Prime Minister it has become a matter of what he can get away with."
He did add, however, that "this is not just about the flaws of one individual", but rather about the Conservative Party, saying: "It’s about the flaws of a whole style of government, the flaws of an ideology, of a political party that has been in power too long."
Earlier, Starmer said while speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain that he does not regard Blair’s knighthood as a “thorny issue".
"Tony Blair deserves the honour, he won three elections, he was a very successful Prime Minister," he said.
The Most Noble Order of the Garter was founded in 1348 by Edward III and is bestowed on members of the royal family and other prominent individuals. Its number is limited to 24 and it has customarily been an award for a retiring prime minister - apart from Harold Macmillan and Alec Douglas Home (who was awarded the Scottish equivalent, the Order of the Thistle) all the Queen's prime ministers from Sir Winston Churchill to Sir Tony Blair, have been elevated to the Garter.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair arrives at the presidential palace for a meeting with Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades in capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Wednesday, April 4, 2018. - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.01.2022
'It's Not About Politics': Commons Speaker Defends Tony Blair Knighthood
Blair’s knighthood has already elicited a tremendous backlash, with critics of the former prime minister pointing at his decision nearly two decades ago to drag the United Kingdom into the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
A petition on change.org calling for Blair to be stripped of the honour bestowed upon him by the Queen has attracted more than 600,000 signatures as of the time of this article’s writing.
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