BORIS Johnson tried to blame Labour for the early release of the man behind Friday’s terrorist attack on London Bridge.

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme, the Prime Minister said Usman Khan was on the streets because of legislation introduced by Gordon Brown’s “leftie government”.

When it was pointed out that his party had been in power for the last decade, Johnson said he’d only been Prime Minister for 120 days.

“I’m a new Prime Minister, we take a different approach,” he claimed

He said: “The answer is, I’m afraid, that he was out because he was on automatic early release.

“When the judges reviewed his sentence in 2012 they had no option but to comply with the law that Labour brought in in 2008 which meant, effectively that he was out, they had to comply with the law as it stood and he was out in eight years.”

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He added: “I’ve been in office for 120 days. We’re going to bring in tougher sentences for serious sexual, violent offenders and for terrorists. We’ve put more money into counter-terrorism. That is what we’re going to do.

“I absolutely deplore the fact that this man was out on the streets. I think it’s absolutely repulsive and we are going to take action against it.”

Khan was jailed in 2012 for his part in a plot to bomb high-profile locations including Parliament, and for trying to establish a terrorist training camp in Pakistan.

He was given an indeterminate public protection sentence (IPP) and was told that he would serve at least eight years in prison.

But the IPP sentence, which ends only when the Parole Board considers that an offender no longer poses a risk to the public, was quashed by the Court of Appeal in 2013.

At his appeal Khan’s legal team claimed that he was a young man whose ambition was to bring sharia law to Pakistan-controlled Kashmir and that it was “highly unrealistic to suppose that the authorities in Pakistan would allow a teenager from Stoke to impose sharia law or run a training school for terrorists”.

Khan had served less than seven years when he was freed on licence last December and ordered to wear a tag.

Twenty-five-year-old Jack Merritt and 23-year-old Saskia Jones died in the attack on Friday.

Cambridge University yesterday confirmed that both were graduates attending an event.

A member of university staff is also among the three people injured.

While one of those has returned home, the other two remain in a stable condition in hospital.

Merritt’s father, David, said his son who worked to help rehabilitate prisoners “would not wish his death to be used as the pretext for more draconian sentences or for detaining people unnecessarily”.

Yet yesterday, however, Johnson started a political row.

He told Andrew Marr: “I think it is ridiculous, I think it is repulsive, that individuals as dangerous as this man should be allowed out after serving only eight years and that’s why we are going to change the law.”

Johnson’s appearance on Marr was relatively last minute.

The BBC had initially told the Prime Minister he could not take part on the Sunday morning programme unless he also agreed to a half-hour evening interview with the notoriously tough Andrew Neil – as all other party leaders have done.

However, the broadcaster relented on Saturday, saying the London Bridge attack made the immediate interview necessary.

Johnson declined to say whether he would agree to the interview by Neil. He told Marr he was “perfectly happy to be interviewed by any interviewer called Andrew from the BBC”.

However, he said he had taken part in many interviews in the campaign.