The father of one of the victims in last week’s terrorist attack in London accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday of lying and trying to “make political capital” during last night’s television debate.
David Merritt, whose son Jack was stabbed to death by convicted terrorist Usman Khan described Johnson as a “fraud” after the final televised debate with opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn before British citizens head to the polls on Thursday.
Johnson told viewers: “I think it’s wrong that someone like Usman Khan, who was sentenced to 21 years … should have been automatically released on eight years, when the judge, when he was first convicted, made it clear that he was a very serious jihadi.”
Johnson and Corbyn spar during last night’s tv debate
These comments prompted Mr Merritt to write a series of posts on Twitter, criticizing Johnson. “Points missed (or deliberately avoided by Johnson),” he began. “We don’t know all the facts about this case yet, and we won’t know for some time — the inquest could take up to 2 years. We don’t know why Khan killed, or what, if anything could have been done differently to prevent it.”
“Let’s have an enquiry, not a witch hunt,” he continued. “Secondly, there is no justification AT ALL for cutting the early release tariff from a half to a third of sentences for all sentences over 4 years that carry a maximum life sentence; that‘s just trying to look tough on the backs of other prisoners’ suffering; if prisoners have engaged with rehabilitation turned their lives around, why should they be punished for what Khan did?”
Mr Merritt was keen to point that serious cuts to public services have compromised security. He tweeted: “The prison education, probation and monitoring services have been cut to the bone, overcrowding in prisons is inhumane — prisoners don’t win votes unless politicians are promising to be tough on them — but that makes re-offending MORE likely which makes the public LESS SAFE. Is that what we want?”
“People are being released from prison with nowhere to live, given £47 (€55.85, $61.76) told to get on with it. Any guesses how people cope faced with that situation? No prizes.”
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‘Johnson lied and used our son’s death to make political capital’
Jack’s father was keen to offer his support for Corbyn, praising the Labour leader’s integrity, before one final withering attack on the prime minister. “Corbyn spoke the truth last night. Johnson lied used our son’s death to make political capital. Wake up Britain: this man is a fraud. He’s the worst of us, he’s taking you for a ride. I’ll be voting least worst option: anti-Tory. For all our sakes, and for the future of the country, please, please do the same.”
The November 29 attack occurred in the Fishmongers’ Hall at an event organized by Learning Together, a program that helps inmates reintegrate into society. Mr Merritt’s son Jack attended as part of his work with aiding prisoner rehabilitation.
Khan had been released from prison in December 2018 after serving eight years for plotting a terror attack on the London Stock Exchange.