British PM vows to strengthen prison sentences after London attack
December 2, 2019
LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday he would strengthen prison sentences, vowing to boost security after an attack in London by a man jailed for terrorism who had been released early. Less than two weeks before Britain heads to the polls, law and order has taken top billing since Usman Khan, wearing a fake suicide vest and wielding knives, killed two people on Friday before being shot dead by police. Johnson’s Conservatives have championed tough police and prison measures, but opponents have criticised them for overseeing almost a decade of cuts to public services. Johnson said if he won the Dec. 12 election, he would invest more in the prison system and toughen sentences. “I absolutely deplore the fact that this man was out on the street, I think it was absolutely repulsive and we are going to take action,” he told BBC interviewer Andrew Marr. He portrayed his rival for prime minister, Jeremy Corbyn, as weak on crime, blaming the Labour Party for a law passed more than a decade ago that provided for some prisoners to be released early automatically. Johnson said around 74 people convicted of serious offences had been released under the legislation, and that they were being monitored to prevent any threat to the public. Corbyn, a veteran peace campaigner, said convicted terrorists should “not necessarily” serve their full prison terms. “It depends on the circumstances, it depends on the sentence, but crucially it depends on what they’ve done in the prison,” he told Sky News.