Lingerie boss rejects honour from 'morally corrupt' Blair

LONDON, June 20, 2007 (AFP) - The boss of a British lingerie company said Wednesday, June 20th he was returning a public honour because Prime Minister Tony Blair was "morally corrupt." Joseph Corre of Agent Provocateur, who was awarded an MBE in Queen Elizabeth II's Birthday Honours List at the weekend, said that at first he was "flattered" that his work had been recognised.

"It even gave me a kick to imagine what some of the bureaucrats and censors I have had to fight up to now must think," he said in a statement.

"However, after some serious reflection I have decided that I cannot accept it," added Corre, the son of award-winning British fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood.

"I have been chosen by an organisation headed by a prime minister, who I find morally corrupt, who has been involved in organised lying, to the point where thousands of people including children have suffered death, detention and torture in Afghanistan and Iraq," he said.

The comments came amid a row over the knighthood awarded to Indian-born author Salman Rushdie, which has provoked protests in the Muslim world, in particular in Pakistan which has called for it to be withdrawn.

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