Jack Merrit was killed by a terrorist at London Bridge on Saturday. Despite his family’s pleas not to use his death for electioneering, the British Prime Minister is accused of doing just that.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under fire for his alleged exploitation of Friday’s terrorist attack in London in order to secure victory at the polls.
Jack Merrit, who was 25, was killed alongside Saskia Jones, 23, near London Bridge by a man with a previous terror offence.
The attacker, Usman Khan, had been released early and was supposed to be under supervision, had taped long knives to each hand and wore a hoax suicide vest.
He was later tackled to the ground by pedestrians before police shot and killed him.
Merrit was a Cambridge University graduate who worked on programmes aimed at rehabilitating those who have been radicalised by terrorist ideology.
After his death, his family pled with politicians not to exploit his death for political capital ahead of the UK’s election next week.
Most appear to have paid heed but Johnson stands accused of exploiting the tragedy for his own political gain.
Despite the Conservatives forming government for the last nine years, Johnson blamed Labour for creating the conditions in which the terrorist attack could happen.
The prime minister said ‘a lefty government’ was responsible for letting terrorists out of prison earlier.
That sparked outrage among many, including Liberal Democrat MP Ed Davey, who said: “Boris Johnson’s distasteful attempt to politicise a national tragedy is compounded by the fact he didn’t bother to properly understand the events that led to it”.
While not addressing Johnson directly, Merrit’s father Dave Merrit, published a further plea in the Guardian newspaper, in which he wrote his son would be “livid” his death was being used to further an “agenda of hate”.
“We would see him ticking it over in his mind before a word was uttered between us. Jack would understand the political timing with visceral clarity,” 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. We should never forget that.”
Britons go to the polls on December 12 with Johnson’s Conservative Party comfortable ahead at the moment but with the opposition Labour Party steadily closing the gap.