London Bridge attack: UK Labour's Corbyn won't rule out early release for terrorists

Armed police officers standing guard at London Bridge following a stabbing incident, on Nov 29, 2019.
Armed police officers standing guard at London Bridge following a stabbing incident, on Nov 29, 2019.PHOTO: AP

LONDON (BLOOMBERG, REUTERS) - Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said that convicted terrorists should not necessarily serve out their full prison terms.

His comments on Sunday (Dec 1) came two days after a convicted terrorist who was released early from prison killed two people and injured three others in an attack near London Bridge.

"I think it depends on the circumstances; it depends on the sentence, but crucially depends on what they've done in prison," he said in an interview on Sophy Ridge On Sunday on the Sky network.

The comments contrast with the position of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who pledged on Saturday that a Conservative government would ensure that convicted terrorists weren't eligible for early release.

Mr Corbyn signalled that even convicted terrorists should benefit from early release if they change their ways.

"Prisons ought to be a place where people are put away because of major serious offences, but also a place where rehabilitation takes place," he said.

The veteran peace campaigner also said the police had no choice but to shoot the attacker.

"I think they had no choice. They were stuck with a situation where there was a credible threat of a bomb belt around his body, and it's an awful situation for any police officer, any public servant to be put in," said Mr Corbyn.

In the interview, he also refused to say how he would vote in a second referendum on leaving the European Union that he pledged to hold if Labour takes power after a Dec 12 election.


The Labour leader also said that the party apologised and regretted any anti-semitism that anyone had suffered and that he wished "our party had acted on it more rapidly".

He was responding to allegations that he had not done enough to weed out anti-semitism in the party.