The former adviser to Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair claimed Boris Johnson had “politicised” the London Bridge terror attack by turning the incident into an election campaign issue. He said: “Boris Johnson knew exactly what he was doing. I was utterly disgusted by what he did. What he did was he said that because of the seriousness of this we’re going to suspend campaigning. He then turned it into a campaign issue.”
“I don’t believe that Theresa May or David Cameron or John Major or Margaret Thatcher – let alone Tony Blair or Gordon Brown – would have done that,” he added.
“He knew exactly what he was doing. He turned up on a programme and said ‘this was caused by some leftie government’.
“We’re talking about this because Boris Johnson did not behave as a Prime Minister. He decided to politicise it.”
But the Channel 5 host blasted the former Labour staffer: “But Alastair, it is political, isn’t it?”
As the former Blair spin doctor then began to engage in an argument with Carole Malone, Jeremy Vine was forced to interrupt them and to say: “Let’s just make this more focused.
“Generally speaking, if you’re in a situation where you’re given a ten-year sentence you come out after five.
“The Conservatives did that and Labour to some extent brought that in. It doesn’t matter now.
“If you behave well in prison you come out after five, why don’t we just say that doesn’t apply to crimes of terror?”
Mr Campbell took yet another opportunity to talk about Boris Johnson’s comments after the attack.
He said: “We’re making this about one incident that happened on Friday when I think a proper Prime Minister would have come out and understood that yes, you express sympathy for the victims, yes, you express support for the police, yes, say that anything the government can do it will be done.
“But then seek to reassure the country and bring the country together, instead of which Boris Johnson deliberately came out and said I see an opportunity to damage Jeremy Corbyn.”
The Channel 5 host replied: “Let’s stay off Boris Johnson here for a moment.
“Because we then get into Blair and he did that kind of stuff.
“It’s politics played for presentation rather than content, right? And we know who developed that as a stunt, right?”
A vigil was held on Monday to pay tribute to the victims of the London Bridge terror attack and to honour the emergency services and members of the public who responded to the incident.
Former University of Cambridge students Saskia Jones, 23, and Jack Merritt, 25, were fatally stabbed by 28-year-old convicted terrorist Usman Khan during a prisoner rehabilitation event they were both supporting.
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Mr Johnson has vowed to take steps to ensure people are not released early when they commit serious offences.
But the family of Mr Merritt, from Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, asked for his death to not to be used to justify introducing “even more draconian sentences” on offenders in a heartfelt tribute released on Sunday.
They said: “He lit up our lives and the lives of his many friends and colleagues, and we will miss him terribly.
“Jack lived his principles; he believed in redemption and rehabilitation, not revenge, and he always took the side of the underdog.
“We know Jack would not want this terrible, isolated incident to be used as a pretext by the government for introducing even more draconian sentences on prisoners, or for detaining people in prison for longer than necessary.”
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