Newspaper headlines: Tributes to London Bridge attack victim as PM pledges reforms

Jack Merritt Image copyright Other

The Sunday Times leads with Prime Minister Boris Johnson's promise to bring in tough new laws to "lock terrorists up and throw away the key" after it emerged that the London Bridge attacker, Usman Khan, was released part way through his sentence for a bomb plot.

Writing in the paper, counter-terrorism expert Ian Acheson says warnings he gave four years ago that the parole system couldn't cope with terrorists were ignored by the government.

"Soft justice plays Russian roulette with our lives" is the headline in the Sunday Express. Its story is based on an interview with a former counter-terror chief, Chris Phillips, who criticises the Appeal Court decision that allowed Khan's early release.

The paper quotes senior lawyers it says want the assessment of prisoner danger levels to be taken out of judges' hands.

The Observer says Mr Johnson's proposals - which it describes as "ultra hardline" - came as arguments about the blame for Friday's attack thrust the issue "into the centre of the election battle".

The paper's editorial calls the prime minister's tougher sentencing proposals a "cynical bid to exploit tragedy for political gain" and argues they are a "ploy to deflect from the sweeping cuts and botched reforms" of the police, prison and probation services.

The Sunday Telegraph disagrees. Its opinion piece says sentencing has been "too lenient for too long" and the release of an extremist who went on to kill reflects a "catastrophic institutional failure".

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Almost all of the papers feature photographs of Jack Merritt, the only victim to be named so far.

Most were taken at his graduation from the University of Cambridge, although the Sunday Times pictures him on holiday with his girlfriend.

The Sunday Mirror says Mr Merritt, who worked to rehabilitate offenders, was killed by a fanatic he wanted to help.

The Sunday People shows the 25 year-old celebrating with his parents and uses a tribute from his father as the basis for its headline: "Beautiful spirit who took the side of the underdog."

Meanwhile, the Mail on Sunday publishes claims about the Duke of York's business affairs. The paper includes a statement from Buckingham Palace which says that, during the duke's years as the UK's trade envoy, "the aim, and that of his office, was to promote Britain and British interests overseas, not the interests of individuals".

And the Sunday Telegraph covers a report about the dangers lurking in make-up bags. A study of 500 used items such as lipstick and eyeliner has discovered that more than half harbour "potentially deadly" bacteria - including e-coli.

Experts from Aston University warn that people are risking skin and eye infections and even blood poisoning if items used to apply make-up are not cleaned regularly. As the paper says - that "could take the gloss off the party season".