Tony Blair’s knighthood is the ‘cruellest blow’ to the family of a soldier killed in Iraq, says the victim’s father

Tony Blair’s knighthood is the ‘cruellest blow’ to the family of a soldier killed in Iraq, says the victim’s father

John and Marilyn Miller continue to seek justice for their son Simon's terrible death during a training mission in June 2003.

Cpl Miller, 21, was one of six Royal Military Policemen brutally attacked and shot by a 400-strong crowd after the invasion.

After being made a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter in the New Year Honours, Mr Miller, 70, claimed a scroll from the Queen honouring Cpl Miller for his sacrifice ‘now means absolutely nothing'.

‘To see the headlines on New Year's morning announcing Tony Blair's knighthood was a complete kick in the gut,' he said.

‘Words cannot express our sorrow at this news. The day our son Simon was murdered in Iraq, on June 24, 2003, we fought for justice. It has engulfed our life.

That Blair was made a Knight Companion of the Garter, reputedly the highest order of “chivalry” in Britain, is the sickest, cruelliest thing I have ever heard.

‘It's an insult to the 179 British soldiers who died in Iraq because of his judgement.'

Sir Tony got one of the oldest and most distinguished honours, held by only 21 persons, and Mr Miller reacted.

Sir Tony sent British soldiers into Iraq based on widely disputed intelligence. It was revealed in 2016 that the mission was based on ‘flawed' intelligence that was ‘presented with an unjustified certainty'.

Neither a UN Security Council resolution nor diplomatic measures had been exhausted, hence military intervention was deemed unnecessary.

Between 2003 and 2011, 136 British Armed Forces members and MoD civilians died in hostile action during Operation Telic.

The soldier and his 156 Provost Company teammates spent their last moments imprisoned in a police station in Majar al-Kabir, southern Iraq.

An inquiry in March 2006 determined he had many injuries, including being hit with a rifle butt and shot in the chest at point-blank range.

The soldiers only had 50 rounds of ammo each instead of the minimum 150, and couldn't call for aid because they didn't have satellite phones.

They were Sgt Simon Hamilton-Jewell (41), Cpl Russell Aston (30), Paul Long (24), Lc Cpl Benjamin Hyde (23), and Lc Corporal Thomas Keys (20), all from Llanuwchllyn near Bala (Wales).

Their family have tried to pressure successive administrations to solve what they claim were failures that contributed to the crime and let individuals identified by the UK go free.

Sir Tony's appointment has been met with widespread resistance, with over 400,000 people signing a Change.org petition advocating for his removal.

‘Now he will be summoned to court and knighted.

‘He needs to stand trial for war crimes in an international court.

Afraid of what he has done to my family,

‘I wouldn't be human if I didn't.

‘He gets a knighthood. My son received the regular campaign medal awarded to all soldiers participated in the Iraq conflict. No honour for Si and his buddies saving the lives of 16 Iraqi cops they were training?

‘Please clarify that. Mme Elizabeth Cross, medal honouring parents of fallen warriors.

‘A magnificent scroll signed by the Queen sits in my son's room, thanking him for his service to his nation.

‘That means nothing to us anymore, it sullies his memory. I used to be proud of them.'

They have another son, Jon, and two grandsons, one named Simon.

According to Mr Miller, despite the Prime Minister's personal involvement in Harry Dunn's death and the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Boris Johnson has yet to respond to him.

‘Billions have been spent on Iraq, but not a dime on the known murderers,' he claimed.

In 2016, Mr Miller wrote to David Cameron's cabinet that the Red Caps ‘only did their duty' and ‘never fired a single round'.

‘They never abandoned their nation, but successive politicians have abandoned them,' he wrote.

The Change.org petition accuses Sir Tony of ‘war crimes' and ‘least deserving of any public award'.

Despite the Chilcot Report, the former Labour leader, 68, says he behaved in good faith and would do so again if given the same intelligence.

‘I agonised over the choice to send troops in and depose Saddam Hussein,' he told the BBC.

‘It is an enormous pleasure to be appointed Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, and I am very thankful to Her Majesty the Queen,' Sir Tony said.

In his speech, Mr. Harper thanked all those who served alongside him in politics, public service, and other aspects of society for their dedication and commitment to our country.

‘Our sympathies are with Corporal Simon Miller's family and friends,' said a MoD spokeswoman.

‘We strive hard to support the families of fallen soldiers.'

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