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Jeremy Corbyn: UK must stop ‘clinging to Trump’s coat tails’

Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of using the language of Osama bin Laden after the Labour leader blamed Donald Trump for the deadly terror attack in London Bridge.

Mr Corbyn ignored pleas to avoid politicising the atrocity to tear into the US president who arrived at Stansted Airport in London this evening ahead of the Nato summit.

A Labour election attack video posted on Twitter this afternoon used an image of Friday’s bloody carnage, which left two innocent people dead.

It showed flowers beside a road sign in the capital, to a soundtrack of Mr Corbyn condemning Western wars and emotional music.

Donald Trump’s itenary for three-day UK visit

Tonight: Mr Trump is due to land at an airport in London

Tomorrow: Mr Trump will attend a reception at Buckingham Palace with the Queen to welcome Nato leaders

Wednesday: Nato summit takes place at the Grove Hotel, near Watford

The tweet has the message: ‘It’s time for Britain to stop clinging on to Donald Trump’s coat-tails.’ 

It came despite complaints that both main parties have been exploiting the deadly attack.  

Mr Corbyn also penned a letter to the President asking for reassurances that his administration will not try to include selling higher-priced US drugs to the NHS on its trade wish list. 

Mr Corbyn said he wanted ‘assurances’ over the ‘prices paid to US drugs companies as a consequence of any such UK trade deal with the US’. 

US President Donald Trump and the First Lady Melania stepped off the plane in London tonight 

President Trump is pictured above after he arrived at Stansted Airport this evening ahead of the Nato summit

President Trump is pictured above after he arrived at Stansted Airport this evening ahead of the Nato summit

He arrived with his wife and First Lady Melania (pictured above together) as Nato marks its 70th birthday

He arrived with his wife and First Lady Melania (pictured above together) as Nato marks its 70th birthday 

Trump arrived in the UK this evening and previously stated he didn't want Jeremy Corbyn to be Prime Minister

Trump arrived in the UK this evening and previously stated he didn’t want Jeremy Corbyn to be Prime Minister 

A video posted on the Labour leader's Twitter feed shows flowers beside the roadsign in the capital, to a soundtrack of Mr Corbyn condemning Western wars and emotional music

A video posted on the Labour leader’s Twitter feed shows flowers beside the roadsign in the capital, to a soundtrack of Mr Corbyn condemning Western wars and emotional music

Labour has warned throughout the election campaign that allowing US medical companies to supply drugs to the NHS would push up the price of medicines.

Mr Corbyn told journalists at a rally in Hastings that a Labour administration would walk away from talks if the US insisted on elements of the NHS being up for grabs.

What is Corbyn demanding from Trump 

In the letter to the President, the Labour leader highlighted he wanted to keep costs down on pharmaceuticals in the UK, his other key points included:

– Accept the role of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) to set the threshold for the cost-effectiveness of drugs for the NHS

– Explicitly rule out any investor-state dispute settlement mechanism by which the UK Government could be sued for protecting public services

– Ensure NHS patient data is fully exempted from digital trade and data sharing provisions in the agreement

‘We cannot allow our National Health Service to be put up for sale to American pharmaceutical companies,’ he said.

Writing to Mr Trump, he stated: ‘As you will know, the potential impact of any future UK-US trade agreement on our National Health Service and other vital public services is of profound concern to the British public.

‘A critical issue in this context is the cost of drugs to our NHS.

‘The cost of patented drugs in the US is approximately 2.5 times higher than in the UK, and the price of the top 20 medicines is 4.8 times higher than in the UK.

‘Any increase in the NHS drugs bill would be an unacceptable outcome of US-UK trade negotiations.

‘Yet you have given a number of clear and worrying indications that this is exactly what you hope to achieve.’

He told Mr Trump it would ‘go a long way to reassuring the British public’ if he rowed back from the NHS-related negotiation aims seen in the leaked civil service paper on the UK-US talks.

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn (pictured centre and right at a vigil in the capital today) have been involved in an extraordinary blame game over the London Bridge attack

Mr Corbyn wrote: ‘A revision of the US negotiating objectives along these lines would go a long way to reassuring the British public that the US government will not be seeking total market access to the UK public services – that the NHS will not be on the table in US-UK trade negotiations, that a US-UK trade deal will not open up NHS services to irreversible privatisation, and that the US government accepts that our NHS is not for sale in any form.’

Mr Corbyn sent a letter with similar demands to the Prime Minister on Monday, the eve of the Nato summit.

Trump previously said it would be ‘so bad’ for Britain if Mr Corbyn was to become prime minister.

Mr Trump told Nigel Farage’s LBC radio programme in October: ‘Corbyn would be so bad for your country, he’d be so bad, he’d take you on such a bad way. He’d take you into such bad places.’

Following Corbyn’s comments about Trump, Ex-Labour MP John Woodcock said: ‘By saying Britain only has itself to blame for the London Bridge terror attack, Jeremy Corbyn once again side with the enemies of the UK rather standing up for British citizens.

‘This sick anti-west propaganda ignores the fact that scores of countries that had nothing to do with the Iraq war are targeted by Islamists – it is exactly the kind of thing you’d expect from Osama bin Laden not a man who wants the keys to Downing Street. 

‘Britain will be less safe if we let Corbyn Labour’s Jihadi apologists take over the country.’ 

Jack Merritt (pictured centre) was one of the victims of the London Bridge terror attack. His father David (left) has condemned politicisation of the attack

Jack Merritt (pictured centre) was one of the victims of the London Bridge terror attack. His father David (left) has condemned politicisation of the attack 

London Bridge reopened today after police conducted a final search of the area last night

London Bridge reopened today after police conducted a final search of the area last night

Tories also reacted with fury to the online video posted to Mr Corbyn’s 2.2 million Twitter followers.

Morecambe and Lunesdale candidate David Morris said it was ‘appalling behaviour especially degrading to our closest allies.’

‘This is from a man who travels thousands of miles and places flowers on terrorists graves then… forgets he has done it,’ he added.

‘He is not fit to be even considered to visit Number 10, never mind be a potential occupant of it.’ 

Boris Johnson has defended launching a crackdown on the treatment of convicted terrorists after the rampage by 28-year-old Usman Khan, who was out of prison on licence.

Former University of Cambridge students Saskia Jones, 23, and Jack Merritt, 25, were fatally stabbed during a prisoner rehabilitation event on Friday. 

‘It’s my job to keep people safe’: Boris Johnson defies fury of father of London Bridge terror attack victim

Boris Johnson today denied exploiting the London Bridge terror attack despite a a backlash from the father of one of the victims.

The Prime Minister defended launching a crackdown on the treatment of convicted terrorists after 28-year-old Usman Khan went on a rampage while out of prison on licence. 

Speaking to reporters in Southampton this afternoon, the PM rejected the idea that his action was a knee-jerk response.

‘Look at my 2012 manifesto on crime … I’ve campaigned for a long time for longer sentences for serious and violent offenders,’ he said.

Mr Johnson said it was ‘probably clear from the outset’ that Khan was ‘too tough to crack’ when it came to rehabilitation.

‘What I’m saying is our job is to keep the public safe and that’s what we want to do,’ he added.

In a searing rebuke, Mr Merritt’s father David, an estates manager at a sixth form college and Labour activist, said last night: ‘Don’t use my son’s death, and his and his colleague’s photos – to promote your vile propaganda.

‘Jack stood against everything you stand for – hatred, division, ignorance.’ 

David Merritt, who describes himself on Twitter as a ‘pragmatic left-leaning atheist’, has been repeatedly retweeting messages urging politicians against swingeing reactions to the London Bridge attack. 

The family of Mr Merritt, from Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, asked yesterday that his death not be used to justify introducing ‘even more draconian sentences’ on offenders in a heartfelt tribute. 

Khan was on licence and wearing an electronic monitoring tag when he launched the attack, which injured three others, after he was invited to the prisoner rehabilitation conference on Friday afternoon.

The event was organised held by Learning Together, a programme associated with Cambridge University’s Institute of Criminology.

The attack has prompted the Ministry of Justice to review the licence conditions of every convicted terrorist released from prison, which Mr Johnson told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show yesterday said was ‘probably about 74’ people.

Mr Johnson has vowed to take steps to ensure people are not released early when they commit serious offences.

But speaking to reporters in Southampton this afternoon, the PM rejected the idea that his action was a knee-jerk response.

‘Look at my 2012 manifesto on crime … I’ve campaigned for a long time for longer sentences for serious and violent offenders,’ he said.

Mr Johnson said it was ‘probably clear from the outset’ that Khan was ‘too tough to crack’ when it came to rehabilitation.

‘What I’m saying is our job is to keep the public safe and that’s what we want to do,’ he added. 

Mr Corbyn also made a speech on the terrorism threat yesterday, saying Western aggression and austerity was responsible for fuelling the problems, and convicted terrorists should ‘not necessarily’ serve their full sentences. 

The election video posted on Twitter today includes footage of his speech, interspersed with images including that of the memorial at London Bridge.

Mr Trump tweeted a video of take-off and referred to the House impeachment report on him which will be unveiled in the US today behind closed doors for key politicians

Mr Trump tweeted a video of take-off and referred to the House impeachment report on him which will be unveiled in the US today behind closed doors for key politicians

Mrs Trump smiles and waves as she leaves the White House today before boarding Marine One. She is traveling with her husband to London

Mrs Trump smiles and waves as she leaves the White House today before boarding Marine One. She is traveling with her husband to London

The Labour leader slammed Britain for its ‘failed’ wars, and branded Mr Johnson the ‘world’s leading sycophant’ towards the US president.

Corbyn says terrorists should serve ‘significant proportion’ of sentences 

Jeremy Corbyn is under pressure today over his suggestion that convicted terrorists should ‘not necessarily’ serve their whole prison sentences. 

Pressed during a campaign event at London’s Finsbury Park station over whether released terror convicts should be reassessed and serve their full sentences, the Labour leader said it is ‘quite right to look at every case’.

He said: ‘I think terrorists should be sentenced, as they are, and they should be released as and when they have completed a significant proportion of their sentence and they’ve undergone rehabilitation and they are considered safe to the public as a whole. 

‘I do think that continuing with the process allows people to be released ahead of final complete of their sentence if they’ve been rehabilitated and they have been suitably assessed and they are very strictly monitored when they come out – I think that must be the correct way of doing things. 

‘There are enormous questions to be learned from this terrible event that happened last week and that is, what happened in the prison with this particular individual, what assessment was made of his psychological condition before he was released and also what supervision and monitoring he was under after coming out?’ 

He said cuts to public services ‘can lead to missed chances to intervene in the lives of people who go on to commit absolutely inexcusable acts’.  

Pressed during a campaign event at London’s Finsbury Park station this morning over whether released terror convicts should be reassessed and serve their full sentences, the Labour leader said it is ‘quite right to look at every case’.

He said: ‘I think terrorists should be sentenced, as they are, and they should be released as and when they have completed a significant proportion of their sentence and they’ve undergone rehabilitation and they are considered safe to the public as a whole. 

‘I do think that continuing with the process allows people to be released ahead of final complete of their sentence if they’ve been rehabilitated and they have been suitably assessed and they are very strictly monitored when they come out – I think that must be the correct way of doing things. 

‘There are enormous questions to be learned from this terrible event that happened last week and that is, what happened in the prison with this particular individual, what assessment was made of his psychological condition before he was released and also what supervision and monitoring he was under after coming out?’ 

In a statement yesterday, family of Mr Merritt, from Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, asked for his death to not to be used to justify introducing ‘even more draconian sentences’ on offenders in a heartfelt tribute released yesterday.

They said: ‘He lit up our lives and the lives of his many friends and colleagues, and we will miss him terribly.

‘Jack lived his principles; he believed in redemption and rehabilitation, not revenge, and he always took the side of the underdog.

‘We know Jack would not want this terrible, isolated incident to be used as a pretext by the government for introducing even more draconian sentences on prisoners, or for detaining people in prison for longer than necessary.’ 

Miss Jones, a volunteer with Learning Together from Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, was described as having a ‘great passion’ for providing support to victims of crime by her family.

Mr Johnson defended launching a crackdown on the treatment of convicted terrorists after 28-year-old Usman Khan went on a rampage while out of prison on licence

Mr Johnson defended launching a crackdown on the treatment of convicted terrorists after 28-year-old Usman Khan went on a rampage while out of prison on licence

Mr Merritt's father David, a schools housing manager from Cottenham, said his son's death should not be used to promote 'propaganda'

Mr Merritt’s father David, a schools housing manager from Cottenham, said his son’s death should not be used to promote ‘propaganda’

Saskia Jones

Jack Merritt

Former University of Cambridge students Saskia Jones, 23, (left) and Mr Merritt, 25, (right) were fatally stabbed during a prisoner rehabilitation event on Friday

The Tories said Jeremy Corbyn - who has boasted of voting against all counter-terror legislation since 1983 - is 'soft on terrorists'

The Tories said Jeremy Corbyn – who has boasted of voting against all counter-terror legislation since 1983 – is ‘soft on terrorists’

An Islamist jailed alongside London Bridge killer Usman Khan (pictured) was dramatically held for allegedly plotting a fresh atrocity

Nazam Hussain, 34, was detained just hours after Boris Johnson announced a top-level review into the licence conditions of 74 convicted terrorists who are now out of jail

An Islamist jailed alongside London Bridge killer Usman Khan (left) was dramatically held for allegedly plotting a fresh atrocity. Nazam Hussain (right), 34, was detained just hours after Boris Johnson announced a top-level review into the licence conditions of 74 convicted terrorists who are now out of jail

Usman Khan, Nazam Hussain, Abul Bosher Mohammed Shahjahan and Mohibur Rahman at Westminster Magistrates Court in 2010

Usman Khan, Nazam Hussain, Abul Bosher Mohammed Shahjahan and Mohibur Rahman at Westminster Magistrates Court in 2010

Why was Usman Khan freed from jail? How terrorist was released after serving eight years for plotting to blow up the Stock Exchange 

When was Khan jailed and for how long?

Khan was given an open-ended jail term – known as an ‘imprisonment for public protection’, or IPP – in January 2012 at Woolwich Crown Court after pleading guilty to one count of ‘engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism’. The sentencing judge Mr Justice Wilkie specified a minimum custodial term of eight years. But to secure his freedom, Khan would have to convince the Parole Board that he no longer posed a risk.

What happened then?

In an appeal in March 2013, Khan’s lawyers won their case – and he was given a term with a definitive end point. The need for Khan’s release to be approved by the Parole Board was also dropped. Appeal judges imposed an extended sentence of 21 years which comprised a custodial element of 16 years and a five-year ‘extension period’. The 16-year custodial element meant he was eligible for release at the halfway point – eight years.

Why is only half of a sentence served?

It has been a convention since the 1960s that half of a term is served in prisons. The rest of a sentence is served ‘on licence’, when an offender can be quickly sent back to jail if they fail to behave.

When was Khan finally freed?

The Parole Board was quick to point out after Friday’s attack that Khan’s release was not referred to them – he was automatically released at the halfway point. He remained on ‘extended licence’ and had to report to police and probation officers, wear a GPS electronic tag and fulfil other requirements.

How did laws passed by a former Labour government affect the Court of Appeal’s options?

PM Boris Johnson has said Khan had to be ‘automatically released half-way through’ because of changes Labour made in 2008 to Extended Sentences for Public Protection or EPPs. This is correct.

Until 2008, anyone on an EPP had to have their release approved by the Parole Board. If they were refused, the board could keep them in jail up to the end of their custodial period, which in Khan’s case was 16 years.

But in mid-2008, Labour made release automatic halfway through.However, the Court of Appeal could potentially have upheld the original IPP sentence.

How can ministers toughen up the sentencing of terrorists?

Khan’s atrocity has reignited debate over whether there is now a case to remove entitlement to early release for convicted terrorists.

PM Boris Johnson has already said they should be made to serve ‘every day’ of their terms. Some important steps have already been taken.

Extended Determinate Sentences (EDS), brought in in 2012, only allow convicted terrorists to apply for parole two-thirds through their sentence, with no automatic entitlement for release.

The Counter Terrorism and Border Security Act, which won Royal Assent in February, toughens jail terms for a range of offences and – crucially –makes it easier to keep terror suspects behind bars beyond the halfway point. It extended two types of sentence – the EDS and Sentences for Offenders of Particular Concern (SOPC) – to a number of middle-ranking terror offences.

A clearer structure could set out underlining principles such as whether early release is allowed, and whether the Parole Board or ministers should approve any release before it takes place rather than it taking place automatically.

A clearer structure would help underline how the justice system should deal with terrorists.

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.

‘Saskia had a great passion for providing invaluable support to victims of criminal injustice, which led her to the point of recently applying for the police graduate recruitment programme, wishing to specialise in victim support.’

Police arrest terror convict amid new blitz on released extremists 

Police have made the first arrest in a new blitz on convicted terrorists who are free to walk our streets.

An Islamist jailed alongside London Bridge killer Usman Khan was dramatically held for allegedly plotting a fresh atrocity.

Nazam Hussain, 34, was detained just hours after Boris Johnson announced a top-level review into the licence conditions of 74 convicted terrorists who are now out of jail.

Hussain was originally jailed in 2012 as part of a terror cell which was plotting to attack the London Stock Exchange and other high-profile targets in the City of London.

His arrest means new offences were allegedly discovered within hours of the review being demanded – raising serious questions about how convicted terrorists are supervised after being freed from jail.

Specialist officers from the West Midlands Counter-Terrorism Unit arrested Hussain in Stoke-on-Trent yesterday. 

Sources confirmed he was being held ‘on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts’.

He is believed to have been freed from jail less than a year ago, at roughly the same time as Khan. 

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

Convicted of terror offences in February 2012, he was released from prison on licence in December 2018, halfway through his 16-year prison sentence.

But the Tories and Labour have been clashing bitterly over who was responsible for the failure in the systems. 

Mr Johnson has argued that the Labour government failed to bolster laws after ‘indeterminate” sentences were ruled illegal by the courts.

But Mr Corbyn has pointed to cuts in rehabilitation services and said police numbers should rise.  

A Sentencing Bill included in the Queen’s Speech in October, which became defunct once the election was called, would have changed the automatic release point from halfway to two thirds for adult offenders serving sentences of four years or more for serious violence or sexual offences.

Judges can already impose extended sentences for offenders assessed as ‘dangerous’, where they will serve two thirds, but the proposed legislation would make the longer jail terms mandatory for certain offences. 

Police have made the first arrest in a new blitz on convicted terrorists who are free to walk our streets.

An Islamist jailed alongside London Bridge killer Usman Khan was dramatically held for allegedly plotting a fresh atrocity.

Nazam Hussain, 34, was detained just hours after Boris Johnson announced a top-level review into the licence conditions of 74 convicted terrorists who are now out of jail.

Hussain was originally jailed in 2012 as part of a terror cell which was plotting to attack the London Stock Exchange and other high-profile targets in the City of London.

His arrest means new offences were allegedly discovered within hours of the review being demanded – raising serious questions about how convicted terrorists are supervised after being freed from jail.

Specialist officers from the West Midlands Counter-Terrorism Unit arrested Hussain in Stoke-on-Trent yesterday. 

Sources confirmed he was being held ‘on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts’.

He is believed to have been freed from jail less than a year ago, at roughly the same time as Khan. 


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