Tony Blair, who led Britain into the devastating Iraq and Afghanistan wars, is to be knighted with the highest possible ranking in the New Year Honours list, Buckingham Palace has said.
Blair, 68, will be appointed a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, the oldest and most senior British Order of Chivalry.
The appointment, which is made by the Queen, has regularly been bestowed upon past prime ministers.
The former Labour leader said: “It is an immense honour to be appointed Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, and I am deeply grateful to Her Majesty the Queen.
“It was a great privilege to serve as prime minister and I would like to thank all those who served alongside me, in politics, public service and all parts of our society, for their dedication and commitment to our country.”
Many Muslims and non-Muslims consider Blair to be a war criminal because of his role in taking Britain into invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, which cost hundreds of thousands of lives.
His justification for invading Iraq – that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction – proved to be false.
Blair is also reviled by British Muslims for starting the Prevent counter terrorism policy which is viewed a spying and monitoring exercise by large sections of the community.
Since leaving office in 2007 Blair has gone on to make millions by working for dictatorships, among other things.