UK PM wants full terrorism sentence served

PA Reporters

Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to announce "fundamental changes" to Britain's system for dealing with convicted terrorists, after the second street attack by a person released early from jail.

His words echo comments he made the day after London's last terror attack at Fishmongers' Hall when two people were killed by convicted terrorist Usman Khan.

After that attack in December he spoke of his anger and claimed that scrapping early release from prison would have stopped Khan's murder spree which claimed two lives.

He said preoccupations with Brexit had meant the Government was unable to make the changes required to keep violent offenders and terrorists in jail for longer.

Insisting the system must be changed, he said: "If you are convicted of a serious terrorist offence, there should be a mandatory minimum sentence of 14 years - and some should never be released.

"Further, for all terrorism and extremist offences, the sentence announced by the judge must be the time actually served - these criminals must serve every day of their sentence, with no exceptions."

Mr Johnson has now said the Government has "moved quickly" to introduce measures to strengthen the UK's response to terrorism.

Last month details of The Counter Terrorism (Sentencing and Release) Bill were released.

They included forcing dangerous terrorists who receive extended determinate sentences to serve the whole time behind bars, and scrapping early release from jail for those classed as dangerous and handed extended determinate sentences.

Terrorists deemed not to be a risk would have to serve two-thirds of their sentence before the Parole Board could consider them for release, as part of the bill.

Shortly after the December attack, Home Office figures showed more than 350 convicted and suspected terrorists had been freed from prison over the previous seven years.

Overall, 353 terror criminals and suspects had been released from prison between June 2012 and the same period in 2019, of which 245 were convicted of offences.