General election news – live: Boris Johnson admits truth about ‘new’ NHS nurses and Brexit border checks, as Labour narrows Tory poll lead

Boris Johnson admitted he has not yet spoken to the father of London Bridge terror attack victim Jack Merritt, who accused the prime minister of trying to “make political capital” from his son’s death.


Mr Johnson sought to blame Labour for the early release of convicted terrorist Usman Khan who killed 25-year-old Jack and 23-year-old Saskia Jones in the attack at London’s Fishmongers’ Hall last month.


But David Merritt said his son, who was the course co-ordinator of a prison rehabilitation programme, “would not wish his death to be used as the pretext for more draconian sentences or for detaining people unnecessarily”.


Speaking to ITV News London, 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 its sensible for people who are convicted of crimes of terrorism such as Usman Khan to be out automatically on early release.


“I said that long before the event took place – I said it in August.”


Pressed on whether he would pick up up the phone to speak to Mr Merritt, Mr Johnson replied: “With great respect, I will keep my contacts with families of victims private, if that’s alright.”

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