Family of London Bridge attacker ‘shocked and saddened’

The family of Fishmongers' Hall attacker Usman Khan has said they are "shocked and saddened" by the atrocity and "totally condemn" his actions.

In a short statement issued through the Metropolitan Police, they expressed their condolences to the two victims who died and those who were injured in the violence on Friday.

It read: "We are saddened and shocked by what Usman has done. We totally condemn his actions and we wish to express our condolences to the families of the victims that have died and wish a speedy recovery to all of the injured.

"We would like to request privacy for our family at this difficult time."

London Bridge killer named as convicted terrorist Usman Khan
Usman Khan (West Midlands Police/PA)

The statement came after the girlfriend of victim Jack Merritt described him as a "phenomenal" man.

Leanne O'Brien posted the message on Facebook after Mr Merritt's father David attacked politicians for using his son's death "to perpetuate an agenda of hate".

She wrote of her boyfriend: "My love, you are phenomenal and have opened so many doors for those that society turned their backs on."

Cambridge University graduates Mr Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, were both stabbed to death by 28-year-old convicted terrorist Usman Khan during a prisoner rehabilitation event they were supporting at London's Fishmongers' Hall.

On Monday, the family of Mr Merritt gathered to pay tribute to him and Miss Jones at a service in Cambridge, in which Ms O'Brien was seen breaking down in tears.

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London Bridge terror incident
Jack Merritt's mother Anne (far left), girlfriend Leanne O'Brien (centre) and father David (second right) during a vigil at the Guildhall in Cambridge to honour both him and Saskia Jones after the two of them were killed in Friday's London Bridge terror attack.
Jack Merrit's father (centre) attends a vigil at The Guildhall in Cambridge to honour both him and Saskia Jones after they were killed in Friday's London Bridge terror attack.
People at a vigil in Guildhall Yard, London, to honour the victims off the London Bridge terror attack, as well as the members of the public and emergency services who risked their lives to help others after a terrorist wearing a fake suicide vest went on a knife rampage killing two people, was shot dead by police on Friday.
(left to right) Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn take part in a vigil in Guildhall Yard, London, to honour the victims off the London Bridge terror attack, as well as the members of the public and emergency services who risked their lives to help others after a terrorist wearing a fake suicide vest went on a knife rampage killing two people, was shot dead by police on Friday.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan speaking at a vigil in Guildhall Yard, London, to honour the victims off the London Bridge terror attack, as well as the members of the public and emergency services who risked their lives to help others after a terrorist wearing a fake suicide vest went on a knife rampage killing two people, was shot dead by police on Friday.
Tributes to Cambridge University graduates Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, on London Bridge, who were both stabbed to death by 28-year-old convicted terrorist Usman Khan during a prisoner rehabilitation event they were supporting in London on Friday. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday December 2, 2019. The father of London Bridge terror victim Jack Merritt has said his son would be "livid" that his death is being used to further an "agenda of hate". See PA story POLICE LondonBridge . Photo credit should read: Rick Findler/PA Wire
Second former Cambridge University student killed at London Bridge named
Second former Cambridge University student killed at London Bridge named
Review under way after Cambridge alumni confirmed as London attack victims
A photograph of the first victim to be named, Jack Merritt, is pictured among floral tributes left close to London Bridge in the City of London, on December 1, 2019, following the November 29 deadly terror incident. - Britain's Boris Johnson said on December 1 the security services were stepping up monitoring of convicted terrorists released early from prison, as the London Bridge attack became embroiled in the election campaign. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
Police officers stand inside a cordon beside floral tributes left close to London Bridge in the City of London, on December 1, 2019, following the November 29 deadly terror incident. - Britain's Boris Johnson said on December 1 the security services were stepping up monitoring of convicted terrorists released early from prison, as the London Bridge attack became embroiled in the election campaign. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
Floral tributes for victims of the terrorist attack, including Jack Merritt, left on London Bridge in central London, after a terrorist wearing a fake suicide vest who went on a knife rampage killing two people, was shot dead by police on Friday.
Floral tributes for victims of the terrorist attack, including Jack Merritt, left on London Bridge in central London, after a terrorist wearing a fake suicide vest who went on a knife rampage killing two people, was shot dead by police on Friday. PA Photo. Picture date: Sunday December 1, 2019. See PA story POLICE LondonBridge. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Forensic officers attend to a property in Lanehead Road, Stoke-on-Trent that is linked to London Bridge terrorist attacker Usman Khan.
Forensic officers attend to a property in Lanehead Road, Stoke-on-Trent that is linked to London Bridge terrorist attacker Usman Khan.
Forensic officers attend to a property in Lanehead Road, Stoke-on-Trent that is linked to London Bridge terrorist attacker Usman Khan.
Forensic personnel on London Bridge in central London after a terrorist wearing a fake suicide vest who went on a knife rampage killing two people, was shot dead by police.
Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu speaks to the media at New Scotland Yard in Westminster, London, after a terrorist wearing a fake suicide vest who went on a knife rampage killing two people, was shot dead by police.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick (centre left), Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan (centre right) and Commissioner of the City of London Police, Ian Dyson (right) on London Bridge in central London after a terrorist wearing a fake suicide vest who went on a knife rampage killing two people, and was shot dead by police.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan speaks with Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick and Commissioner of the City of London Police Ian Dyson, as he attends London Bridge in central London after a terrorist wearing a fake suicide vest who went on a knife rampage killing two people, was shot dead by police.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) and Home Secretary, Priti Patel (right) attend London Bridge in central London after a terrorist wearing a fake suicide vest who went on a knife rampage killing two people, was shot dead by police.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick (left), Home Secretary, Priti Patel, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Commissioner of the City of London Police, Ian Dyson (right) attend the London Bridge crime scene in central London after a terrorist wearing a fake suicide vest who went on a knife rampage killing two people, was shot dead by police.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson attends the London Bridge crime scene in central London after a terrorist wearing a fake suicide vest who went on a knife rampage killing two people, was shot dead by police.
Armed police at the scene of an incident on London Bridge in central London.
Police and emergency services at the scene of an incident on London Bridge in central London.
People fleeing from Borough Market, central London following a police incident.
Police at the scene of an incident on London Bridge in central London.
A police officer moves an uninvolved person away from a cordon after an incident on London Bridge in central London.
People running away from Borough Market in London after police to them to leave the area.
Armed police at the scene of an incident on London Bridge in central London.
People are evacuated from London Bridge in central London following a police incident.
A member of the police, outside a newsagent, in the vicinity of Borough Market and London Bridge.
People heading away from the vicinity of Borough Market in London after police told them to leave the area.
Police instruct members of the public to move away from London Bridge and Borough Market, London.
An armed police officer outside Borough Market after an incident on London Bridge in central London.
People heading away from the vicinity of Borough Market in London after police told them to leave the area.
Armed police and emergency services at the scene of an incident on London Bridge in central London.
Police instruct members of the public to move away from London Bridge and Borough Market, London.
Police and emergency services at the scene of an incident on London Bridge in central London.
Armed police and emergency services at the scene of an incident on London Bridge in central London.
Police instruct members of the public to move away from Borough Market, London.
Police and emergency services at the scene of an incident on London Bridge in central London.
People heading away from the vicinity of Borough Market in London after police told them to leave the area.
A white lorry parked across London bridge in central London following a 'terror related' incident.
A police boat on the River Thames near London bridge following a 'terror related' incident.
Police at the scene of an incident on London Bridge in central London.
Police on Gracechurch Street in London near the scene of an incident on London Bridge in central London.
Office workers watching police near the scene of an incident on London Bridge in central London.
Police at the scene of an incident on London Bridge in central London.
Police at the scene of an incident on London Bridge in central London.
Police at the scene of an incident on London Bridge in central London.
Police at the scene of an incident on London Bridge in central London.
Police on Cannon Street in London near the scene of an incident on London Bridge in central London.
Armed police at the scene of an incident on London Bridge in central London.
Armed police and emergency services at the scene of an incident on London Bridge in central London.
Police on Cannon Street in London near the scene of an incident on London Bridge in central London.
Police on Cannon Street in London near the scene of an incident on London Bridge in central London.
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Later, David Merritt wrote in the Guardian that his son would be "livid" if he could comment on his death.

"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," he said.

"We should never forget that. What Jack would want from this is for all of us to walk through the door he has booted down, in his black Doc Martens."

It came after Prime Minister Boris Johnson sought to blame Labour for the early release of the convicted terrorist as the political row over the knife attack intensified.

The Prime Minister said Khan, who was freed halfway through a 16-year jail sentence, was on the streets because of laws introduced by a "leftie government".

And in an interview with The Sun on Tuesday Mr Johnson accused Mr Corbyn of backing terror groups and Russia over Britain's allies in Nato.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab added to the argument on Tuesday, telling BBC Radio 4 Labour "wanted to see dangerous offenders released".

He said: "Of course we want to reform and rehabilitate criminal offenders where that's possible, but I think in this case and in the level of very serious dangerous criminal offenders, it's clear some of those we will struggle to be sure that we can reform, that they will rehabilitate, and we're absolutely clear that we will not allow the release of people onto the streets who present a danger, and that separates us from Jeremy Corbyn, who's made clear that he would be willing to see those sorts of dangerous offenders released."

Khan, who was living in Stafford, was given permission to travel into the heart of London by police and the Probation Service.

Incident on London Bridge
Jack Merritt (Met Police/PA)

Armed with two knives and wearing a fake suicide vest, he was tackled by members of the public, including ex-offenders from the conference, before he was shot dead by police.

One of the three people injured in the attack has been allowed to return home while the other two remain in a stable condition in hospital.

Mr Merritt, from Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, was a co-ordinator for Learning Together, a programme associated with Cambridge University's Institute of Criminology which is aimed at bringing offenders and people in higher education to "study alongside each other".

Miss Jones, a volunteer on the programme from Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, was described as having "great passion" for providing support to victims of crime by her family.

In a statement they said: "She was intent on living life to the full and had a wonderful thirst for knowledge, enabling her to be the best she could be."

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