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Vigils held to remember Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones

Jessie Mathewson, Local Democracy Reporter

The victims of the London Bridge terror attack have been honoured at vigils in London and Cambridge on Monday.

Vigils held to remember Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones
The Bishop of London was joined by Sadiq Khan, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn
Vigils held to remember Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones
The Mayor of London said that “London will never be cowed or intimidated by terrorism”
Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones
Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones

Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, were killed by convicted terrorist Usman Khan on Friday.

The jihadi attacker began his lethal knife assault at Fishmongers' Hall during a prisoner rehabilitation conference.

Mr Merritt and Ms Jones, both Cambridge University graduates, were among academics, charity workers and former offenders attending the Learning Together event.

Their attacker was later shot dead by police on London Bridge, after members of the public stopped and disarmed him.

On Monday, hundreds of people gathered outside the City of London's Guildhall and in Cambridge to remember the two young people who lost their lives.

Prime minister Boris Johnson, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan were among those at the vigil in the capital.

Christian and Muslim faith leaders brought the crowd together in a two minute silence to commemorate the victims of the attack.

Speaking at the vigil, the Mayor of London honoured "the innocent lives lost as a result of the horrific terrorist attack this Friday".

He said: "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.

"And it's also by drawing inspiration from the lives of Jack and Saskia who from an early age chose to dedicate themselves to helping others.

"So yes, we come together this morning in condolences but also in a spirit of defiance, to say that London will never be cowed or intimidated by terrorism.

"And also to commit to honouring the memory of Saskia and Jack by dedicating our future to one defined not by hatred but one defined by hope, by unity, and by love."


UPDATE: Quote from London Assembly chair and photo of victims added.

The victims of the London Bridge terror attacks were honoured at vigils in London and Cambridge today.

Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, were killed by convicted terrorist Usman Khan on Friday.

The jihadi attacker began his lethal knife assault at Fishmongers' Hall, near Monument Station, during a prisoner rehabilitation conference.

Mr Merritt and Ms Jones, both Cambridge University graduates, were among academics, charity workers and former offenders attending the Learning Together event.

Their attacker was later shot dead by police on London Bridge, after members of the public stopped and disarmed him.

Today, hundreds of people gathered outside the City of London's Guildhall and in Cambridge to remember the two young people who lost their lives.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan are among those at the vigil in the capital.

Christian and Muslim faith leaders brought the crowd together in a two minute silence to commemorate the victims of the attack.

Speaking at the vigil, the Mayor of London honoured "the innocent lives lost as a result of the horrific terrorist attack this Friday".

He said: "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.

"And it's also by drawing inspiration from the lives of Jack and Saskia who from an early age chose to dedicate themselves to helping others.

"So yes, we come together this morning in condolences but also in a spirit of defiance, to say that London will never be cowed or intimidated by terrorism.

"And also to commit to honouring the memory of Saskia and Jack by dedicating our future to one defined not by hatred but one defined by hope, by unity, and by love."

London Assembly chair Jennette Arnold told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that Mr Merritt and Ms Jones "represent the best of us".

She said: "These were two young people, our hero and heroine, that were working towards rehabilitation. and focused on seeing the best in people.

"What they found was danger and death.

"You can only then be silenced and think about the grief and loss that their family and friends must be feeling.

"Today is about remembering, honouring, mourning, and putting these two young people at the forefront of our minds."

She added: "Terrorists must never see this as weakness. In our unity there is such great strength."

The Dean of Southwark, the Very Revd Andrew Nunn, was joined by colleagues from Southwark Cathedral and Amir Eden, executive chair of Living Bankside, to represent communities at the southern end of the bridge at the Square Mile ceremony.

On Sunday, the cathedral bells were half muffled and a minute's silence was held at the start of the Choral Eucharist.

"People within our community are hurting," said the Dean in his sermon.

"We have to stand with them. We have to help bear their pain, but also speak into that pain with words of hope."

Books of condolence can be signed at Southwark Cathedral and at Southwark Council's Tooley Street offices.

Video from BBC London is reproduced here courtesy of the BBC Local News Partnerships, in which this website participates.

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