Jeremy Corbyn says convicted terrorists should ‘not necessarily’ serve their full prison sentence

Posted On: 
1st December 2019

Jeremy Corbyn has said those convicted of terror offences should “not necessarily” serve their full prison sentences.

Jeremy Corbyn said convicted terrorists should 'not necessarily’ serve their full prison sentence
Credit: 
Sky News

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The Labour leader made the comments in the wake of the London Bridge attack, which was carried out by a man released after serving only half of his jail term.

Speaking to Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday he said: “I think it depends on the circumstances, it depends on the sentence but crucially depends on what they’ve done in prison.”

Asked if that meant it was not necessary for terrorists to stay in prison for their full sentence, Mr Corbyn replied: “No, not necessarily, no. 

“I think there has to be an examination of how our prison services work and crucially what happens to them on release from prison."

The attack on Friday was carried out by Usman Khan, who was convicted in 2012 of being part of a plot to blow up the London Stock Exchange in 2010.

He was given an “indeterminate” sentence, which was then overturned on appeal and altered to a 16-year term.

But he was released in 2018 after serving only 8 years, and carried out the attack while out of prison on licence and wearing a GPS police tag.

Speaking about the case, Mr Corbyn added: “Here were apparently no probation service involvement in monitoring this former prisoner who after all had only served half his sentence and he came out I think a year ago.

“And there has to be an examination of what goes on in the prison because prisons ought to be a place where people are put away because of major serious offences but also a place where rehabilitation takes place.”

The Labour leader said police “had no choice” but to shoot Khan dead, adding: “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.”

He also reiterated his belief British citizens fighting for ISIS overseas should be returned to the UK, saying: “If you strip away their citizenship, where are they going to go?

“They are then going to become stateless people roaming around into ungoverned places like in Libya, like in parts of Syria, and they create another terrorist force of tomorrow, ISIS or something else. 

“Surely if somebody is a citizen of any one country then it’s up to that country to take responsibility for them.”

Mr Corbyn's comments came as Boris Johnson vowed to bring in a mandatory minimum sentence of 14 years for those convicted of a terrorist offence if the Tories win a majority later this month.