U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s assertion after Saturday night’s terrorist attack in London that there is “far too much tolerance of extremism in our country” comes less than a week before the June 8 general elections.
Terrorism was on the minds of the British public even before Saturday night’s attacks. This is the third such attack in the U.K. in 2017. Two weeks ago, a bomber detonated a device outside the Manchester Arena following a concert by Ariana Grande. In March, a man drove a car into pedestrians on London's Westminster Bridge, killing four people and then stabbing a police officer to death. According to a recent poll, terrorism was the Number 2 issue Britons worried about (after healthcare and before immigration).
The issue is likely to weigh on the minds of voters ahead of the elections: May, who hopes to continue as prime minister, said Sunday that “in light of what we are learning about the changing threat, we need to review Britain’s counter-terrorism strategy to make sure the police and security services have all the powers they need. And if we need to increase the length of custodial sentences for terrorism-related offenses, even apparently less serious offenses, that is what we will do.” Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party leader, said: “I ... hope we reflect on the need to have sufficient police officers on our streets but also sufficient intelligence to look at the terrorist threat but in response, as in Manchester, all communities must come together.”