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  1. ITV Report

Boris Johnson admits he is yet to speak to father of London Bridge terror attack victim

Dave Merritt (centre) has accused the PM of making political capital out of the tragedy. Credit: PA

Boris Johnson has told ITV News London he is yet to speak to the father of London Bridge victim Jack Merritt, after he was criticised by him in the aftermath of the terror attack.

The 25 year old's father, David Merritt, has on several occasions accused the Prime Minister of making political capital out of the tragedy.

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 29 November.

Today, in an interview with ITV News London political correspondent Simon Harris, Mr Johnson said:

"I have every sympathy with the families of both Jack and Saskia, who lost their lives at London Bridge in the attack by Usman Khan. What I would say, with great respect, is that I stick to my position, which is that actually I don't think it's sensible for people who are convicted of crimes of terrorism such as Usman Khan to be out automatically on early release."

– BORIS JOHNSON

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

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

"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"

– DAVID MERRITT