Boris Johnson Vows to End Liberal 'Human Rights' Laws After London Bridge Attack
Friday's terror attacker Usman Khan was let out of prison early despite terrorism offenses
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed to tear up liberal "human rights" laws that allowed a convicted terrorist to be let out of prison early and launch another terror attack on London Bridge Friday.
PM Johnson warned last night that atrocities such as the latest act of terrorism in the UK capital would be more difficult to avert if the socialist leader of the liberal Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, becomes prime minister.
Mr. Johnson expressed outrage over ISIS terrorist Usman Khan's early release from prison.
Khan served less than half his sentence for terror offenses before carrying out Friday's rampage that left two people dead.
Johnson, who visited the scene of the attacks on Saturday, said if his Conservative Party wins the election, he would take advantage of the UK’s post-Brexit freedoms to reform the liberal human rights laws introduced under the last Labour government and imposed by the European Union.
Following the latest attack, the Ministry of Justice has launched an investigation into the license conditions of up to 70 violent terrorists who have been released from prison.
Johnson says the terror-friendly laws made it more difficult for the security services to protect the public and blamed the last Labour Government for introducing automatic early release in 2008.
Mr. Johnson complained that his efforts to "keep violent offenders and terrorists in jail longer and end the automatic early release system" since becoming prime minister had been thwarted by "the broken hung parliament that was preoccupied with blocking Brexit."
He said: "What I saw on Friday has made me angry – it’s absolutely clear that we can’t carry on with the failed approaches of the past.
"We must reform human rights laws to shift the balance in favor of our security and intelligence services... our laws are constrained, for example, by the 'right to private life' which limits surveillance of terrorists, and recent court cases have placed unacceptable limits on our intelligence services."
Meanwhile, Corbyn told Sky News Sunday that convicted terrorists should "not necessarily" serve their full prison sentences automatically after Boris Johnson said violent offenders "must serve every day of their sentence, with no exceptions."
The far-left Labour leader said there were lessons to be learned from the incident and there should be a "full investigation" into the circumstances around the attacker's prison sentence and subsequent release.
Pressed on if convicted terrorists should serve their full prison sentences automatically, Mr. Corbyn said: "No, not necessarily.
"I think it depends on the circumstances and it depends on the sentence but crucially depends on what they've done in prison," he added.
Mr. Johnson blasted Corbyn as a risk to the safety of the British public.
The prime minister said: "Jeremy Corbyn is setting out plans to weaken our system and make it more difficult for our security services to stop people who want to do us harm.
"He wants to give more power to human rights lawyers, which would make us less safe.
"Jeremy Corbyn has a totally different view of security and a totally different set of policies. I do not believe he can provide the leadership on security this country needs."
Mr. Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel were joined by Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick on London Bridge yesterday.
Johnson told journalists: "It’s early days and there’s a lot of investigations that need to be done, but it is clear... it does not make sense for us as a society to be putting people convicted of terrorist offenses, of serious violent offenses, out on early release."
Ms. Patel blamed Labour for the fact that Khan – who was jailed for terror offenses in 2012 – had been released on license in December 2018 after his initial sentence was reduced on appeal.
After Labour’s Yvette Cooper asked on Twitter why Khan was released early, Ms. Patel replied: "Because legislation brought in by your government in 2008 meant that dangerous terrorists had to automatically be released after half of their jail term.
"The Conservatives changed the law in 2012 to end your automatic release policy but Khan was convicted before this."
The Parole Board said it had no involvement in his release, with Khan appearing "to have been released automatically on license (as required by law)."
Met Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said last night that Khan had been subject to an "extensive list of license conditions" on his release and that "to the best of my knowledge" he was complying.
Conservative strategists intend to use the coming days to highlight the differences between the Labour manifesto, which pledges to "ensure the powers exercised by the security services are proportionate and used in accordance with human rights" and "end indefinite detention," with Mr. Johnson’s plans to "update the Human Rights Act so that our security services can defend our country against terrorism."
The Tory manifesto states: "The ability of our security services to defend us against terrorism and organized crime is critical.
"We will update the Human Rights Act and administrative law to ensure that there is a proper balance between the rights of individuals, our vital national security and effective government."