Vigil to honour ex-Cambridge Uni grads killed in London Bridge terror attack – Live News 24

Vigil to honour ex-Cambridge Uni grads killed in London Bridge terror attack  – Live News 24

THE distraught girlfriend of a Cambridge graduate murdered in the London Bridge terror attack sobbed today at a vigil for the victims  Jack Merritt, 25, and fellow Cambridge graduate Saskia Jones, 23, were stabbed to death in a rampage by terrorist Usman Khan on Friday  Veterinary science student Leanne O’Brien clutched a toy lobster and was supported by Jack’s parents at a vigil today in Cambridge  Hundreds of students and locals turned out and stood for a minute’s silence which was followed by a round of applause  Meanwhile PM Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn broke off election campaigning to join 300 mourners in a minute’s silence at the London Guildhall, near the scene of the bloodbath  London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick and Home Secretary Priti Patel also stood silent as the bells rang out at 11am  The Bishop Of London hailed the victims, police medics and members of the public “who moved towards danger for the sake of others” during Friday’s atrocity  Mr Khan said Jack and Saksia chose to “dedicate themselves to helping others” from an early age  He said at the vigil: “We come together this morning as Londoners to honour and to mourn the innocent lives lost as a result of the horrific terrorist attack  “The best way to defeat this hatred is not by turning on one another but by focusing on the values that bind us, to take hope from the heroism of ordinary Londoners and emergency services who ran towards danger risking their lives to help people they didn’t even know  “We come together in condolences but also in a spirit of defiance.”  Today a haunting tweet posted by Saskia emerged in which she spoke of how she wanted to be remembered  Quoting the poet Nicole Lyons, she wrote in 2017: “I hope that someday when I am gone, someone, somewhere, picks my soul up off these pages and thinks, ‘I would have loved her’ ”  Jack and Saskia had been working with ex-cons the Learning Together event at Fishmongers Hall, organised by the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology  Usman Khan – freed after a half a 16-year sentence for plotting a bombing – had been a guest at the programme’s conference on prisoner rehabilitation when he threatened to blow up the historic Fishmongers’ Hall on Friday afternoon  Wearing a fake suicide vest, he killed both Jack and Saskia and stabbed three others, including a member of University staff,  before he was shot dead by armed police on London Bridge  Floral tributes were placed on the bridge where the jihadi maniac was overpowered by hero passersby and a convicted murdered who was also on the course  One bouquet read: “Rest in peace, Jack. You were a wonderful friend to us and Leanne’s everything We love you and will support Leanne eternally.  “We will never forget you. Saskia, Beth, Maisie, Georgie, Heather, Josie ”  Another tribute said: “Thank you for all your amazing work to make the world better, Jack We will remember what you stood for. Rest in peace. X”  One message read: “Thank you for everything you did, Saskia “The world deserved more of you. Rest in Peace.” A COMMUNITY IN GRIEF  Over the weekend, Jack was remembered for his “quiet humour and rigorous intellect” while Saskia was paid tribute to for her “warm disposition and extraordinary intellectual creativity”  Saskia had just completed her Masters of Philosophy in Criminology last year.  In a tribute released yesterday, her family said she was a “was a funny, kind, positive influence” on every one she met  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 ”  And Jack’s family remembered him as a “beautiful, talented boy, (who) died doing what he loved ”  They said: “Jack lived his principles; he believed in redemption and rehabilitation, not revenge, and he always took the side of the underdog ”  Cambridge University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Toope said: “Our University condemns this abhorrent and senseless act of terror ”  A number of heroes had rushed to stop terrorist Khan on Friday afternoon – bravely tackling him to the ground    Questions have since arisen over just why Khan hadn’t needed to face the Parole Board before he was released from prison  Khan, from Staffordshire, had been convicted in 2012 for terror offences.  He was part of a nine-man group who plotted to bomb the London Stock Exchange and set up a terrorist training camp in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir  The men were inspired by al-Qaeda and had been under surveillance by MI5.  It is understood Khan was taught by Islam4UK’s leader Anjem Choudary, a hate preacher who was freed in 2018  Mr Justice Wilkie, the judge in the case, said the group’s actions showed a “serious, long-term venture into terrorism” and could have resulted atrocities across the UK  He was banned from entering London but had a one-day exemption to attend the ex-convict event organised, it emerged last night  West Midlands Police last said a man had been arrested on preparation of terrorist acts in Stoke in connection with a wider on-going review of licence condition following Friday’s attack

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