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As Corbyn & Johnson Spar Before Election, UK Terror Attack is Being Used as Political Football

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Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and London Mayor Boris Johnson are seen on the stand prior to the International Friendly match between England and France at Wembley Stadium on November 17, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

By Tom Roberts

It seems as if politics has leaked into every facet of daily life – including terrorism.

Top politicians in Great Britain are having at each other in the wake of the murders of two people, and the injuring of three others in central London this weekend.

“After a one-day pause out of respect for victims, Friday’s attack is dominating the political scene as the Dec. 12 election nears, shifting the focus, at least for the moment, from Brexit and the National Health Service to issues of security and criminal justice,” according to the Associated Press.

“The argument centers over the early release from prison of Usman Khan, who served roughly half his sentence before being set free,” AP added. “He was able to stab five people before being shot dead by police despite conditions imposed on his release that were supposed to protect public safety.”

“I think it is repulsive that individuals as dangerous as this man should be allowed out after serving only eight years and that’s why we are going to change the law,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson told BBC’s Andrew Marr Show. “Marr repeatedly challenged the prime minister by pointing out that the Conservatives had been in power for nearly a decade and not taken any steps to change the situation Johnson was complaining about.”

Britain’s Guardian suggested that Johnson “has been accused of twisting the facts of the London Bridge terror attack in a “distasteful” attempt to turn it into an election issue, as he tried to blame Labour for the release of the terrorist who stabbed two people to death. Despite one of the victims’ families pleading for their son’s death not to be used as an excuse for kneejerk political reaction, Johnson claimed that “a lefty government” was responsible for Usman Khan being freed.”

At the same time, political rival Jeremy Corbyn “suggested convicted terrorists should “not necessarily” serve their full-term sentence but the decision should instead be based on “what they’ve done,” according to The Express. “Mr Corbyn was questioned in the aftermath of the London Bridge terror attack which left two people dead and several injured when a former convict sentenced on terrorism charges went on a rampage in Central London on Friday. Sky News host Sophy Ridge asked the Labour Party leader: “Usman Khan was given an indeterminate jail sentence for being convicted of a plot to blow up the London Stock Exchange. Overturned on appeal, he was then released after spending eight years in jail.”

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