Lib Dems tell Boris Johnson to stop making political capital out of London Bridge tragedy

Ed Davey appears on Sophy Ridge on Sky. Photograph: Sky.

Ed Davey appears on Sophy Ridge on Sky. Photograph: Sky. - Credit: Archant

The Lib Dems have criticised Boris Johnson's response to the London Bridge attack, telling the prime minister to stop making political capital out f it

Sir Ed Davey called on the prime minister to apologise for "misleading people" over the law regarding early release.

He warned Johnson that he "shouldn't be trying to make political capital out of a tragedy".

Two people were killed and three were injured in the London attack by 28-year-old Usman Khan, a convicted terrorist who served half of his time.

Speaking on Ridge on Sunday on Sky News, Sir Ed said: "I've been a bit alarmed though about how the prime minister Boris Johnson has responded.

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"He seems to be politicising this at a time when we really should be thinking about the families.

"But, worse still, he's misleading people about what the current law is. He's trying to say that there is early release now, but actually that was got rid of in 2012."

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Sir Ed accused Johnson of misleading the public by saying that criminals get automatic early release after serving half of their term.

He added: "I'm afraid the prime minister was misleading people again on television last night, he said ... the current law is that people get early release after 50% of the term - that's not true.

"Either he's incompetent and doesn't know the law, or he's deliberately misleading people when we've got a tragedy on our hands, and I'm afraid, either way, it does not look good for the prime minister and he should be apologising.

"In the middle of an election, we shouldn't be making political capital out of a tragedy, and he's doing that, and he's doing that in a way which is misleading people about what the law actually says."

Sir Ed said that the Liberal Democrats believe that convicted terrorists' release dates should be determined by the Parole Board and not politicians.

"We stand by the law, which we strengthened where terrorists should serve at least two-thirds," he said.

He added: "The decision shouldn't be taken by politicians, it should be taken by the Parole Board.

"I think that's the right balance and that's the truth, unlike what the prime minister's saying.

"I'm afraid he has a track record of misleading people on this issue, on Brexit and on so many things.

"I'm really alarmed that we are on the brink of having a prime minister who is the most untruthful Prime Minister of all time."

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu confirmed Khan was convicted in 2012 for terrorism offences and released from prison in December 2018 on licence.

Khan was given an indeterminate public protection sentence (IPP) with a minimum jail term of eight years.

But the IPP sentence, which only ends when the Parole Board considers that an offender no longer poses a risk to the general public, was quashed by the Court of Appeal in 2013.

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