A PETITION to have Tony Blair stripped of his knighthood is rapidly gathering support.

The former Labour prime minister was given the highest ranking of knighthood in the New Year's honours list by the Queen.

It has led to a petition - currently at more than 150,000 signatures - on change.org to have the honour taken from the former prime minister

The text of the petition states: “Tony Blair caused irreparable damage to both the constitution of the United Kingdom and to the very fabric of the nation's society. He was personally responsible for causing the death of countless innocent, civilian lives and servicemen in various conflicts. For this alone he should be held accountable for war crimes.

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“Tony Blair is the least deserving person of any public honour, particularly anything awarded by Her Majesty the Queen.”

It is rare for a person to be stripped of any honours, but it is not unheard of. In 2012, former Royal Bank of Scotland boss Fred Goodwin had his knighthood removed after his mismanagement of the bank saw it need a £45 billion taxpayers bailout.

The process to remove an honour begins when someone contacts the Cabinet Office outlining their complaint. That is then passed on to the “Forfeiture Committee”, which is chaired by the permanent Treasury secretary Sir Tom Scholar, has a majority of independent members, and meets as required.

The committee then considers whether the holder of an honour “has brought the honours system into disrepute”, according to the UK Government website.

Tony Blair remains unpopular with the British public. YouGov’s tracker of fame and popularity records that while 97% of people have heard of him, only 22% have a positive opinion. A majority (57%) have a negative opinion of the former Labour leader.

Yet Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has called for all former prime ministers to be knighted with the highest possible ranking, just as Tony Blair was in the New Year’s Honours.

Sir Lindsay told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, however, it should be given to all ex-PMs including David Cameron because it is “one of the toughest jobs in the world”.