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Tony Blair sparks furious backlash by attending Iraq and Afghanistan memorial service

Mirror logo Mirror 9/03/2017 Mikey Smith
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Tony Blair has sparked a furious backlash by attending a memorial service for servicemen killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The former Prime Minister joined Theresa May, the Queen and Jeremy Corbyn in attending the service at Horse Guards Parade in central London, ahead of the unveiling of a national memorial.

The Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, as well as former Prime Ministers David Cameron and Sir John Major.

Credits: PA © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: PA But some considered Mr Blair’s attendance at the event an insult to the families of servicemen and women who died in the conflicts, fought under his leadership.

Louis Michael, who commentates on TV programmes on the Channel 4 TV show Gogglebox, took to Twitter, to say Blair’s attendance was “like Hitler turning up at a Holocaust memorial. Tony Blair should be hiding his head in shame, instead he adds insult to injury.”

Around 2,500 guests including veterans and their families, charity workers and civil servants were also at the service, which has been overshadowed by strong criticism from some military widows who were not invited or informed about the event.

Credits: PA © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: PA As veterans, serving personnel and their families waited for the service to begin they listened to military bands played on Horse Guards Parade and watched the Drumhead altar being built, with Army colours draped on top.

Excited children, dressed smartly for the important occasion, waited patiently for the royal guests, before standing with their parents as the Queen arrived shortly before the start at 11am.

The service was led by the Chaplain of the Fleet, the Venerable Ian Wheatley, who gave thanks to the civilians and military personnel who served in the Gulf region, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Credits: AFP © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: AFP "We pray for all who in bereavement, disability and pain continue to suffer the consequences of fighting and terror," he said.

"And we remember with thanksgiving and sorrow those whose lives in wars and conflicts, past and present, have been given and taken away."

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