Sadiq Khan asks Londoners to come together as victims family and friends attend vigil


SADIQ KHAN called on Londoners to come together “in a spirit of defiance” against terrorism during a vigil for the victims of Friday night’s attack.

The London Mayor was joined by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn at the memorial to Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones in Guildhall Yard in the City of London on Monday morning. Also present were Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, Home Secretary Priti Patel and Liberal Democrat candidate Chuka Umunna. After a minute’s silence at 11am, Mr Khan said: “We come together this morning as Londoners to remember, to honour and to mourn the innocent lives lost as a result of this horrific terrorist attack on Friday.

“The best way to defeat this hatred is not by turning on one another but by focusing on the values that bind us.”

The mayor thanked the public and members of the emergency services who “ran towards danger, risking their lives to help others they didn’t even know”.

Mr Khan called on Londoners to “draw inspiration from the lives of Jack and Saskia who, from a very early age, chose to dedicate themselves to helping others”.

He added: “We come together in condolence but also in a spirit of defiance to say that London will never be cowed or intimidated by terrorism.”

At the Guildhall Sadiq Khan called for people to come together after the killings and work for a future “not defined by hatred but defined by hope, unity and love”.

The ceremony was led by Bishop of London Sarah Mullally, and Mustafa Fields, director of multi-faith organisation Faith Forums for London, also spoke.

Mr Fields offered prayers for the victims and emergency services and “all the Muslims grieving at the attacks in the name of their faith”.

After the vigil, those present entered the Guildhall to sign a book of condolences to the victims.

The devastated girlfriend of a London Bridge terror attack victim Jack Merritt broke down as she attended a vigil in his memory.

Leanne O’Brien wept and held a cuddly toy as she was supported by family and friends at the event in Cambridge to remember her late boyfriend Jack Merritt, 25, who was killed three days ago along with Saskia Jones, 23.

Fellow Cambridge University graduates Mr Merritt and Miss Jones were both stabbed by 28-year-old convicted terrorist Usman Khan during a prisoner rehabilitation event they were supporting near London Bridge on Friday.

The Cambridge vigil took place as Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn stood side-by-side to pay their respects at a separate event at Guildhall Yard in London, observing a minute’s silence alongside members of the public.

The vigil came as MPs were today embroiled in an intensifying political row over which party was to blame for the early release of the attacker, who was allowed halfway through a 16-year jail sentence for terrorism.

Veterinary science student Miss O’Brien learned of her boyfriend’s murder just weeks after they had enjoyed a romantic trip to Seville, Spain, to celebrate his 25th birthday.

Around London Bridge Underground station this morning, several whiteboards had been placed with messages of support, including: “Together we stand.

“An attack on any one of us is an attack on us all.

“Haters are not welcome.

“We are London and we won’t fall.”

The vigils took place as West Midlands Police said a 34-year-old man arrested in Stoke-on-Trent on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts had been recalled to prison due to a breach of his licence conditions.


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