London Bridge: Families mourn victims at vigil

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Vigils for the victims of the London Bridge attack have been held in London and Cambridge.

Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, were commemorated in a service at Guildhall Yard in the City of London.

They were stabbed to death by convicted terrorist Usman Khan, 28, at a prisoner rehabilitation conference on Friday.

Mr Merritt’s family and girlfriend were at a service and minute’s silence in Cambridge, where mayor Gerri Bird led tributes outside the Guildhall.

Mr Merritt and Ms Jones were both University of Cambridge graduates, and had been attending an event for the¬†university’s Learning Together programme¬†– which focuses on prisoner rehabilitation – when they were attacked.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan were among those attending the vigil in the capital, which also included a minute’s silence.

Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt
Image captionJack Merritt was a co-ordinator of the Learning Together programme and Saskia Jones was a volunteer on the programme

In an address, Mr Khan said London would never be cowed or intimated by terrorism.

“The best way to defeat this hatred is not by turning on one another, but it’s by focussing on the values that bind us, to take hope from the heroism of ordinary Londoners and our emergency services who ran towards danger, risking their lives to help people they didn’t even know,” he said.

The London service happened less than a mile from Fishmongers’ Hall, where Usman Khan launched his attack on Friday.

Usman Khan, who was released from prison in December 2018 after serving half of his sentence, was later shot dead by police on London Bridge.

Bishop of London Sarah Mullally said the vigils remembered “academics celebrating rehabilitation and finding only danger”.

She paid tribute to the workers at Fishmongers’ Hall, who she said went to work to offer hospitality, but found themselves needing to give protection.

A book of condolences is open at Guildhall Art Gallery and members of the public are invited to lay flowers outside nearby Mansion House.

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