UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said roughly 74 convicted terrorists have been released early and said that people should serve their full prison sentences.
Johnson was speaking in the context of the London Bridge attack that occurred on Friday after it emerged that the suspect was a convicted terrorist recently released from prison.
“Legally, there was no way of stopping him from coming out early on the basis on which he was sentenced,” Johnson said on the BBC about the suspect, explaining that despite this the man who killed two people had restrictions on his phone and on internet access.
Johnson was quick to place the blame on the opposition.
“Labour left the finances of this country in ruins,” Johnson said, adding that automatic early release was brought it by a “leftie government”.
Home secretary Priti Patel also blamed the Labour party, tweeting that they had changed the law in 2008, even though this specific case was decided on appeal in 2013 after the law had once again changed.
The Conservatives have turned their claims into an advert stating that Labour would “put Britain’s security at risk”.
Liberal Democrat Ed Davey said on Sky News that the prime minister was making “political capital out of a tragedy” and misleading people about what the law says.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn weighed in on prison sentences, saying they “depend on the circumstances”.
“I think there has to be an examination of how our prison services work,” Corbyn said, stating that they needed to know why the Parole board was not involved in the decision. He said prisons should also be places of rehabilitation.
In a campaign speech delivered in Yorkshire, Corbyn said he did not want to have knee jerk legislation to react to an atrocity, but wanted information about exactly what happened in prison with the London Bridge attacker.
Corbyn said the point of prison justice systems was to keep members of the public safe, so he wanted to know exactly what psychological assessments were done before the attacker’s release from prison.