Umm Muhammed Umar
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has come under fire for politicising a tragedy after he blamed Labour policies for the release of the London Bridge attacker. He has been accused of trying to create political leverage out of the deaths of two people in the attack. The PM was accused of distorting the facts of the London Bridge attack in a “distasteful” attempt to turn it into an election issue.
The deadly knife attack in London took place on Friday. It ended with 28-year-old Usman Khan, being shot dead by police after he allegedly stabbed several people, killing two. ISIS reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack on Saturday, without providing any evidence. Earlier on Saturday, British police said there was "no evidence" to suggest anyone other than the knife-wielding man was involved in the assault. Khan had been convicted and imprisoned in 2012 for so-called "terrorism" offences. He was released in December 2018 "on license", meaning he had to meet certain conditions or face recall to prison. Wearing a fake suicide vest, Khan is suspected to have begun the knife assault at a conference on criminal rehabilitation beside London Bridge.
The family of one of the victims, Jack Merritt, had explicitly called for his death not to be exploited for political gain. Despite this, Johnson tried to use the incident to his advantage. He claimed that “a lefty government” was responsible for the London Bridge attacker having been freed. Merritt’s father retweeted a post showing the front pages of the Mail and Express, Johnson’s Blitz on freed ‘Jihadis’. He called it “vile propaganda”, saying his son stood against everything Johnson stood for, namely hatred, division, and ignorance.
Johnson laid the blame for the attack at Labour’s feet in a BBC One interview. He said Labour was responsible for the automatic early release arrangement, under which the attacker was sentenced. The reality, however, is said to be far more complex. Johnson said there were “probably about 74” convicted so-called terrorists who have now been freed.
In a further twist, Boris Johnson has been accused of plagiarism after having written a thread of tweets about "inaccuracies" in reports about the London Bridge attacker.
The Secret Barrister, a blogger and author, claims their post on Usman Khan's sentencing was used by the British PM. It went on to say Khan was sentenced under "Labour's old regime" and could not have been given a sentence which would have prevented automatic release.
The barrister pointed out that one of the Prime Minister’s tweets linked to the same Prison Reform Trust document they had listed in the blog.