London Bridge terror attack victim Jack Merritt’s dad has accused Boris Johnson of trying to “score election points” in a tearful interview.
Dave Merritt told Sky News the “hardest part” of losing his 25-year-old son was having to tell Jack’s brother of his brutal death.
In the interview, the Cambridgeshire father doubled down on his criticism of the Prime Minister, accusing him of making political capital out of his son’s death.
He told Sky’s political editor Beth Rigby: “instead of seeing a tragedy, Boris Johnson saw an opportunity”.
Mr Merritt explained why he had been critical of the Tory leader on social media in the immediate aftermath of his loss.
“Where most of us were watching this and seeing a tragedy unfolding before our eyes, instead of seeing a tragedy saw an opportunity.
“And he went on the offensive.”He saw an opportunity to score some points in the election and he immediately said this is ‘Labour’s fault, they allowed this to happen, they had this early release policy and so on.'”
“And at that point it was just – I had to say something.”
Jack was stabbed to death by convicted terrorist Usman Khan on November 29.
The Cambridge graduate was co-ordinating a conference on prisoner rehailitation at Fishmongers’ Hall when the attack started.
Former and serving prisoners were among the hero group who chased Khan onto the bridge and tackled him after he had stabbed Jack and fellow Cambridge graduate Saskia Jones.
Speaking from the family home in Cambridge, Mr Merritt said today that Jack was “passionate” about “helping people to redeem themselves.”
Soon after the tragedy Mr Merritt had penned a piece for the Guardian criticising politicians for using Jack’s death for furthering their agendas.
He wrote that his son ‘would be livid at death being used to push hate’.
The dad has also tweeted urging voters to oust the Tories, and slammed the right-wing press for its coverage of the attacks.
Mr Merritt claimed he had not had any contact from the Prime Minister ot 10 Downing Street since the attack.
He said that police had passed on message that Home Secretary Priti Patel wanted to meet to ‘express condolences’ but the family had declined.
He said the family had hoped for a “dignified” approach from politicians following the tragedy, and were angered to see their son’s death become an election issue.
He told Sky this afternoon that Mr Johnson’s call in the wake of the attack to end the early release of offenders guilty of extremism offences was a “knee jerk reaction.”
He said prisoners seeking support to rehabilitate themselves did not deserve to be punished further because of Khan’s actions.
A spokesperson for Mr Johnson told Sky: “The prime minister has expressed his deepest condolences to Mr Merritt for his tragic loss – an experience no family should have to go through.
“The prime minister’s view remains it is ‘extraordinary and wrong’ that Khan had been released halfway through his prison sentence and has long argued that sentencing should be tougher for violent and extremist offenders.”