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”.
David Merritt accused the media of using his son’s death to promote “vile propaganda”.
Boris Johnson has vowed to take steps to ensure terrorists are not released early from prison, but Mr Merritt said his son would not want his death to justify “even more draconian sentences”.
In an article in The Guardian he wrote: “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.
“Jack believed in the inherent goodness of humanity, and felt a deep social responsibility to protect that. Through us all, Jack marches on.”
But former UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom said Mr Merritt should “grieve silently”.
“As I understand it your son died because he believed early release for jihadists was justified because they could be rehabilitated,” he tweeted.
“Society is demanding these releases stop immediately. A very pragmatic view, nothing vile about it. Grieve silently is my advice.”
talkRADIO presenter Julia Hartley Brewer suggested the debate was being silenced by people pretending to be outraged by politicians.
“Perplexed by all these people pretending to be outraged that politicians are ‘politicising’ the London Bridge terror attack,” she tweeted.
“I can’t think of anything *more* political than deciding whether or not convicted terrorists should be freed early to go on murderous rampages.”
International politics professor Scott Lucas clashed with Julia when she suggested Mr Merritt was “skewing the debate”. Professor Lucas suggested she was using Mr Merritt as a “punch bag.”
If Boris Johnson wanted to explore ending early release, he should do so “at the appropriate time,” he said.
“The appropriate time would be not to come out on the day of the attack and simply scream ‘lock them up’ about everything without knowing the facts.”
Jack, 25, and colleague Saskia Jones, 23, were working at a prisoner rehabilitation conference when they were killed by 28-year-old Usman Khan, a terrorist who was released early from prison in 2018.
It has led to a Ministry of Justice reviewing the licence conditions of convicted terrorists released from prison.
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