The father of Jack Merritt has accused Boris Johnson of lying and using his son’s death to ‘make political capital’ during the BBC debate with Jeremy Corbyn.
David Merritt, whose son was killed in the London Bridge terror attack, wrote a series of tweets on the prisoner rehabilitation debate which the party leaders traded blows on.
He said: ‘Corbyn spoke the truth last night. Johnson lied and used our son’s death to make political capital.
‘Wake up Britain, this man is a fraud. He’s the worst of us, and he’s taking you for a ride.’
He appears to have been responding to Mr Johnson’s arguments for tougher sentencing rules.
Expressing sympathy for Mr Merritt, Mr Johnson added: ‘But I still think it’s wrong that someone like Usman Khan, who was sentenced to 21 years or 16 years plus five on licence, should have been out automatically on eight years.’
Mr Corbyn highlighted budget cuts to prison services, adding: ‘That [Jack] wanted a society where you did address the huge problems where somebody committed awful acts; of course you must imprison them, of course you try and rehabilitate them if you can.’
Jack, 25, was killed alongside Saskia Jones, 23, when Usman Khan attacked them during a prisoner rehabilitation event at Fishmongers’ Hall on November 29.
Usman Khan was still serving a sentence for terrorism offences, having been released from jail on licence halfway through his sentence.
It has also emerged that some of the people who helped tackle Khan before he was shot by police had criminal histories, including a man who was mentored by Jack in prison.
Jack worked for Learning Together, an organisation which brought together university students and students in prisons to share experiences and learning.
David Meritt penned a withering attack on calls for tougher sentencing in response to the tragedy in Monday’s Guardian.
He later retweeted posts by left-wing commentator Ash Sarkar singling out the prime minister and home secretary Priti Patel.
Mr Meritt has previously encouraged the public to vote tactically to unseat Tories and has shared posts suggesting he will back either Labour or the Lib Dems depending on his constituency.
Jeremy Corbyn has also been accused of politicising the tragedy, notably after posting a tweet saying ‘It’s time for Britain to stop clinging on to Donald Trump’s coat-tails’ with a clip of him attacking US foreign policy cut with images of floral tributes where Jack and Saskia died.