The fact that the sixth terror attack to strike London in 3.5 years occurred in the middle of a general election campaign has heightened political anxiety, especially amongst Labour party activists, Presstv Reported.
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, reportedly put election campaigning on hold yesterday in order to chair a meeting of the government’s emergency Cobra committee.
The PM said his “immediate takeaway” from the terror attack was to “toughen up sentences” for “serious and violent offences”.
But judging from the reaction of senior Labour party figures, the Tories face an uphill task in their attempt to frame Labour as “soft” on terrorism.
Labour party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, was quick to call the terror incident “shocking”, adding: “My thoughts are with those caught up in the incident”.
Corbyn also thanked the police and emergency services for their quick response to the incident.
Meanwhile London mayor, and Labour party member, Sadiq Khan, called the incident “horrific”, adding: “We must – and we will – stay resolute in our determination to stand strong and united in the face of terror”.
More broadly, the Tory party and their allies in the security establishment are expected to face tough questions in view of the fact that, on the face of it at least, the latest terror attack should have been prevented.
According to multiple media reports, the alleged terrorist, Usman Khan, had a previous terror conviction and was only released on license in December last year.
Furthermore, the Tories have come under criticism for prioritising the funding of intelligence services at the expense of traditional policing.
Indeed, just hours after the terrorist incident, the Tories were attacked for cutting police numbers in a seven-way television debate hosted by the BBC.
Representatives of the Labour party, Scottish National Party, Green party and Plaid Cymru, all pointed to the fact that police numbers have been cut by more than 20,000 over the last nine years.