1. ITV Report

'Jack would be livid his death has been used to further an agenda of hate': Victim's dad speaks out

The father of London Bridge terror victim Jack Merritt has said his son would be "livid" that his death is being used to further an "agenda of hate".

Cambridge University graduates Mr Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, were both stabbed to death by 28-year-old convicted terrorist Usman Khan during a prisoner rehabilitation event they were supporting in London on Friday.

Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones were killed in the attack on Friday

Khan was released from prison on licence in December 2018, halfway through a 16-year prison sentence after he was convicted of terror offences in February 2012.

The attack prompted the Ministry of Justice to review the licence conditions of every convicted terrorist released from prison, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson said was "probably about 74" people.

The family of Mr Merritt, from Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, asked for his death to not to be used to justify introducing "even more draconian sentences" on offenders.

Writing for the Guardian he said his son would be "livid" if he could comment on his death.

Credit: The Guardian

"He would be seething at his death, and his life, being used to perpetuate an agenda of hate that he gave his everything fighting against.

We should never forget that. What Jack would want from this is for all of us to walk through the door he has booted down, in his black Doc Martens.

That door opens up a world where we do not lock up and throw away the key. Where we do not give indeterminate sentences, or convict people on joint enterprise. Where we do not slash prison budgets, and where we focus on rehabilitation not revenge. Where we do not consistently undermine our public services, the lifeline of our nation. Jack believed in the inherent goodness of humanity, and felt a deep social responsibility to protect that"

– Dave Merritt
Credit: Instagram

His father's comments came after family and friends attended a vigil in his memory in Cambridge on Monday.

The Cambridge vigil took place as Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn stood side by side to pay their respects at a separate event at Guildhall Yard in London, observing a minute's silence alongside members of the public.

A minute's silence was held for the victims in Cambridge on Monday Credit: PA

The event at the centre of the attack on Friday was organised by Learning Together, a programme associated with Cambridge University's Institute of Criminology.

Mr Merritt's father said his son "devoted his energy" to the programme, adding: "He lived and breathed fire in his pursuit of a better world for all humanity, particularly those most in need."

Miss Jones, a volunteer with Learning Together from Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, was described as having a "great passion" for providing support to victims of crime by her family.