A picture has emerged of the convicted terrorist who killed two people at London Bridge posing with Islamist hate preacher Anjem Choudary.

The photograph of Usman Khan was taken in March 2009 – three years before he was jailed for plotting to blow up the London Stock Exchange.

Khan was known to have attended a series of protests held by al Muhajiroun – and the pair were photographed during a conference on sharia law organised by the now-banned extremist group.

Last Friday, Khan stabbed 25-year-old Jack Merritt and 23-year-old Saskia Jones to death during a prisoner rehabilitation event. He was armed with two knives and a suicide vest, and was shot dead by specialist armed officers.

The 28-year-old, who was wearing an electronic tag at the time of the terror attack, was convicted and jailed over the LSE bomb plot in 2012.

Khan’s sentence was quashed at the Court of Appeal in April 2013. He was given a determinate 16-year jail term, with a five-year extended licence period, which meant he was released automatically halfway through the sentence.

The law changed in 2012 – and if Khan was given the same sentence today, he would have had to serve at least two-thirds of the term and would only be released if the Parole Board agreed.

Boris Johnson has been accused of politicising last week’s attack by speaking out against the sentencing laws that led to Khan’s early release.

The prime minister said too many people are released automatically on to our streets and we need to address that, adding that some prisoners are beyond rehabilitation.

Jack Merritt’s father has said his son would have been livid at how his death has been used to perpetuate an agenda of hate that he gave his everything fighting against.

Prior to writing the article, David Merritt had posted a tweet criticising newspaper reports that said the prime minister was leading a blitz on freed jihadis.

He said: Don’t use my son’s death, and his and his colleague’s photos – to promote your vile propaganda. Jack stood against everything you stand for – hatred, division, ignorance.

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Mr Johnson has shown no sign of backing down.

The prime minister has used an interview with The Sun to criticise Jeremy Corbyn after the Labour leader told Sky News that convicted terrorists should not necessarily automatically serve their full prison sentences.

It came hours after Mr Johnson was joined by Mr Corbyn and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan at a vigil for the victims.

In his most personal attack against his main rival since the campaign began, Mr Johnson said the Labour leader was naive about the threat that terrorists pose, adding: Every time he has the chance, he sides with our enemies.

The political row shows no signs of going away despite Mr Merritt’s intervention.

Asked for her thoughts on the article, Home Secretary Priti Patel offered her condolences but insisted she and the prime minister have been consistent in our advocacy of longer sentences for terrorism offences.

Deputy Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey criticised the prime minister for failing to understand the reasons for the attack and his distasteful attempt to politicise the tragedy.

He compared his response to his approach to the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe while he was foreign secretary, accusing him of displaying total disregard for the families and victims involved.

Police remain at the scene of the attack as investigations continue, with members of the public invited to sign a book of condolence at Guildhall Art Gallery and lay flowers outside nearby Mansion House.

There has also been a vigil held in Cambridge, attended by family and friends of the two people who died.

Among those who attended the service on Monday was Jack Merritt’s girlfriend Leanne O’Brien, who was seen being comforted after breaking down in tears.

She later paid tribute to her partner on Facebook, writing: My love, you are phenomenal and have opened so many doors for those that society turned their backs on.

She added: Together, we will make a difference.

(c) Sky News 2019: London Bridge terror: Picture emerges of attacker with Islamist hate preacher Anjem Choudary