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Boris Johnson 'wrong' in the way he responded to London Bridge attack, says Tory candidate

2 min read

Boris Johnson was "wrong" to use the language he did in the wake of the London Bridge terror attack, a Tory candidate has said.

Fay Jones said the Prime Minister had used the tragic incident "as a political exercise".

Two people were killed when convicted terrorist Usman Khan went on the rampage after attending a seminar on rehabilitation last Friday.

Mr Johnson criticised the last "leftie" Labour government for introducing a law which meant Khan was automatically released halfway through his prison sentence for a previous terror plot.

The Conservative leader also announced that his government would introduce tougher sentences for terrorism offences if he wins the election.

But Ms Jones, who is standing for the Conservatives in Brecon and Radnorshire, told a TV debate that she disagreed with the PM's approach.

She said: "I  don't think the Prime Minister or anybody should be using this as a political exercise."

Asked if Mr Johnson was "wrong" to react in the way he did, the Tory hopeful said: "Yes, he was."

The Prime Minister has denied trying to use the attack as an opportunity to score political points over Labour.

He said: "Be in no doubt, I've campaigned against early release and against short sentences for many years."

Meanwhile, the Conservatives have announced that public venues would be required to ramp up their security arrangements if the party wins the election.

They would have to assess the threat of a terror attack and take steps to prepare for one as part of their health and safety requirements.

Boris Johnson said: "The nature of threats faced by British citizens has changed in the evolution of modern extremism. It is no longer sufficient for public venues to prepare for accidental threats like fire. They need to reduce their vulnerability to people who seek to perpetrate violent acts too.

"We must not let the terrorists alter our way of life. In our open and tolerant society, the freedom for citizens to enjoy markets, concerts, gigs and restaurants must continue as before. 

"But there are steps we can and will take to make public spaces as secure as possible."

A YouGov poll for The Times suggests Mr Johnson is in tune with public opinion over his response to the London Bridge attack.

It showed that 85% of voters want terrorists to serve longer sentences and 82% want to end early release.

However, the poll also revevaled that confidence in the Government’s effectiveness in dealing with the threat of terrorism has dropped from 64% to 45% following Friday’s attack.

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