London Bridge attack: Boris Johnson says some prisoners can’t be deradicalised


Boris Johnson has mentioned the “grim reality” is that “some people can’t be rehabilitated” in prison.

The PM castigated for longer sentences and an end to automatic release after convicted terrorist Usman Khan killed two in the flesh on London Bridge on Friday.

The father of Jack Merritt, one of the victims, claims he would not wish his son’s death “to be used as the pretext for more draconian sentences”.

Overdo have accused Mr Johnson of using the attack for political ends.

And in an article for the Protector, Mr Merritt’s father Dave said his son “would be livid his death has been in use accustomed to to further an agenda of hate”.

“What Jack would want from this is for all of us to prowl through the door he has booted down, in his black Doc Martens,” he wrote.

“That door yawnings up a world where we do not lock up and throw away the key. Where we do not give indeterminate sentences, or con people on joint enterprise.

“Where we do not slash prison budgets, and where we pinpoint on rehabilitation not revenge.”

Mr Johnson denied claims he was politicising the attack, saying he had crusaded against early release for some time, having previously invigorated the issue during his 2012 campaign to be mayor of London.

“I feel, as everybody does, a titanic amount of sympathy for the loss of Jack Merritt’s family, and indeed for all the subject ti of Jack and Saskia, who perished at London Bridge,” he said.

“But be in no doubt, I’ve stumped against early release and against short sentences for many years.”

‘Bruiser to crack’

He said he has a bill “ready to go” in the Queen’s Speech, if his party were picked to power on 12 December, to stop automatic early release for humourless and violent offenders.

“We have too many people who are released automatically onto our rows and we need to address that,” he said.

The Conservative Party leader told Khan should not have qualified for automatic early release from chokey after he was jailed in 2012 over a plot to bomb the London Hoard Exchange.

Asked about the fact that Khan was not deradicalised in slammer, under the watch of the Conservatives, Mr Johnson replied: “When we look at the facers that we come across in trying to deradicalise people, we have to features the grim reality that in some case it really is very burdensome and I think this was one of those cases.”

He said Khan’s case upstaged “some people can’t be rehabilitated”.

“Unquestionably there are some cases to stalwart to crack and alas he was one of them,” Mr Johnson said.

The prime minister rephrased on Sunday that 74 people jailed for terror offences and circulated early will have their licence conditions reviewed.

Mr Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, were honoured at vigils in London and Cambridge on Monday.

‘Set under stress’

Khan was given a special jail term conscious as Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP), which meant he would serve at hardly eight years and could not be released unless he had convinced the Parole Put up he was no longer a threat.

But in 2013, the Court of Appeal replaced the sentence with a 16-year-fixed length of time of which Khan should serve half in prison.

He was released on leave in December 2018 – subject to an “extensive list of licence conditions”, control said.

Khan was shot dead by police on London Bridge on Friday.

No-one sentenced to a terrorism breach is now subject to automatic early release under current laws.

Past justice minister Philip Lee, who defected from the Conservatives to the Liberal Democrats over Brexit, criticised his former party’s record on prisons,

He said the London Cross over attack highlighted “a system that was under stress” and one in need of “proper backing and proper reform”.

‘Jihadi virus’

He added that the criminal incarceration system “had to bear the brunt of quite significant cuts to its funding” and during his in good time as justice minister he “never really felt it was a priority in government to scratch justice, because it doesn’t tend to be a vote winner”.

“It only matures a vote loser when things start to go wrong, or when people cogitate on mistake have been made and that’s what happened in this separate case,” he said.

“The prime minister is notorious for being loose with the correctness. And now he’s waded in to something incredibly complex, and starts talking about we essential to ‘bang them up’ for longer.

“That might play well in some simplistic way, but you exigency to address capacity of the prison places. You do that by the police, prisons and probation all move together.

In an ITV election debate on Sunday, Labour’s shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon suggested he was “very uncomfortable with the way the discussion from the Conservatives moves shipshape from a tragedy to reheating pre-packaged political lines smearing the Effort Party”.

He added: “I think our democracy, regardless of our parties, should be healthier than that”.

But Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage asserted: “I think these people should never ever be let out prison unless we are certainly convinced they do not have the jihadi virus. But political correctness fill ups us from doing that.”

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