Tragedy turns political as UK ramps up for election
Updated 06:20, 02-Dec-2019

Police have now identified both victims of Friday's stabbing near London Bridge.

The attacker, Usama Khan, killed two people and wounded several others before being shot dead by police.

Khan is Britain's first convicted terrorist to have launched such an attack after being released from prison.

And, as CGTN's Richard Bestic explains, that's a point politicians are exploiting in their campaigns in the midst of a general election.


Police forensic experts are still picking through the property in Staffordshire in the British Midlands to establish whether Khan acted alone.

Police say, so far, there's no evidence others were involved.

Seen there in 2008, denying links to terrorism - in 2012, Khan was convicted of terrorist offences and jailed for 16 years.

Launching his murderous knife attack shortly after being released in half that time.

Inevitably perhaps, amid the bitter arguments of a General Election, the outrage has turned political.

On early morning TV, Prime Minister Boris Johnson blamed the opposition Labour Party for Khan's early release.

"I think this whole system of automatic early release which was brought in by Labour, and it was under that system," Johnson said.

"One of the reasons we're having this election is because we have a Queen's Speech that was blocked by Parliament, amongst other things - not least Brexit - we need to get it done so we that we can move forward. I think its ridiculous, I think its repulsive that individuals as dangerous as this man should be allowed out after serving only eight years and that's why we are going to change the law," he also said. 

The Opposition is calling for a re-examination of Britain's judicial system.

"So I do think there are lessons that we have to learn from this and there has to be a very full investigation into the circumstances of the prison sentence that was served and the release from it," Jeremy Corbyn UK Labour Opposition Leader said.

The first of Khan's victims has been identified as 25-year-old Cambridge graduate, Jack Merritt. He was one of the organisers of the seminar on prison rehabilitation, which Khan had attended just before the attack.

His father urging politicians against draconian new terror laws being justified in the wake of his murder.