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Father of London Bridge terror attack victim Jack Merritt speaks out

‘Jack would be livid his death has been used to further an agenda of hate’: Father of London Bridge terror victim hits out at ‘political elite’ for fostering views he stood against as his girlfriend pays tribute to ‘phenomenal’ man

  • Jack Merritt was murdered at rehabilitation event by terrorist Usman Khan 
  • His father David paid a heartfelt tribute to his son and penned emotional letter 
  • Wrote: ‘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’ 

The father of London Bridge terror victim Jack Merritt has paid a heartfelt tribute to his son and urged politicians not to use his death ‘to perpetuate an agenda of hate’.

Writing for the Guardian on Monday, David Merritt said 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.’

The father of Jack Merritt said his son, pictured, ‘lived and breathed fire in his pursuit of a better world for all humanity, particularly those most in need’

The family of Jack Merritt including his father David (centre) took part in a vigil at the Guildhall in Cambridge yesterday

The family of Jack Merritt including his father David (centre) took part in a vigil at the Guildhall in Cambridge yesterday 

‘Jack did not just go to work. He lived and breathed fire in his pursuit of a better world for all humanity, particularly those most in need’ 

Jack’s father David Merritt wrote this letter for the Guardian: 

Jack was proud. Jack was absorbingly intelligent. Jack was fiercely loyal. Jack loved music, art, eating good food with his family, and having more than one pint with his mates. Oh, and in case you haven’t realised by now … he was also devilishly handsome.

But Jack was also angry, frustrated, selfless, stubborn. He was angry because he saw our society failing those most in need. He was frustrated because the political elite have forgotten why it is important to be fair. He was selfless in his dedication to make things right in every second of his life. Jack devoted his energy to the purpose of Learning Together: a pioneering programme to bring students from university and prisons together to share their unique perspectives on justice. Unlike many of us, Jack did not just go to work. He lived and breathed fire in his pursuit of a better world for all humanity, particularly those most in need.

If Jack could comment on his death – and the tragic incident on Friday 29 November – he would be livid. We would see him ticking it over in his mind before a word was uttered between us. Jack would understand the political timing with visceral clarity.

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. 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.

That door opens up a world where we do not lock up and throw away the key. Where we do not give indeterminate sentences, or convict people on joint enterprise. Where we do not slash prison budgets, and where we focus on rehabilitation not revenge. Where we do not consistently undermine our public services, the lifeline of our nation. Jack believed in the inherent goodness of humanity, and felt a deep social responsibility to protect that. Through us all, Jack marches on.

Borrow his intelligence, share his drive, feel his passion, burn with his anger, and extinguish hatred with his kindness. Never give up his fight.

To Jack Merritt. Now, and forever.

Usman Khan killed two people in a sickening rampage on Friday – Saskia Jones, 23, and Jack Merritt, 25 – in Fishermongers’ Hall at a rehabilitation event, before the terror convict was attacked by members of the public and shot dead by armed police.

Boris Johnson told supporters at a Tory rally in Colchester on Monday evening that, if put back in Downing Street, he would be ‘stopping the early release, the automatic early release of serious and violent offenders and terrorists’.

But Dave Merritt said his son would have been ‘livid’ at the political reaction to his death. 

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.

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

Mr Merritt’s father said his son ‘devoted his energy’ to the programme, adding: ‘He lived and breathed fire in his pursuit of a better world for all humanity, particularly those most in need.’

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.

Usman Khan killed two people in a sickening rampage on Friday, before the terror convict was attacked by members of the public and shot dead by armed police. Khan is pictured here in 2008

Usman Khan killed two people in a sickening rampage on Friday, before the terror convict was attacked by members of the public and shot dead by armed police. Khan is pictured here in 2008 

Tributes to Cambridge University graduates Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, on London Bridge

Tributes to Cambridge University graduates Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, on London Bridge

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.’

London Bridge was reopened on Monday, while a police cordon remains in place on the west footpath near Fishmongers’ Hall.

No-one else is being sought over the attack.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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