A mother whose son was killed in the Manchester Arena bombing has said she is “heartbroken” for the parents of the London Bridge attack victims.

Figen Murray said she felt “every word” spoken by the parents of the two “young, amazing” victims Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, as they mourn the deaths of their children.

Her comments came as the family of the London Bridge attacker Usman Khan said they are “shocked and saddened” by the atrocity and “totally condemn” his actions.

Ms Murray’s 29-year-old son Martyn Hett was one of the 22 murdered in the Manchester Arena terrorist attack in May 2017.

She said: “I just know how those parents feel. Events like Friday bring it back for all the families [who have lost a relative in a terror attack]. I’m heartbroken for them.”

Ms Murray described losing her son as a “life sentence” and said the days following the atrocity were “very difficult”, adding that the traumatic experience of having to identify her son’s body was “etched in my soul forever”.

But she said the kindness people showed her and the thousands of messages of support she received in the wake of his death helped her to “stay strong”.

Amid criticism of the resuming election campaign, where there have been claims parties are using the latest attack for political gain, Ms Murray said she hoped politicians were not exploiting it for “point scoring”, adding: “That would be a shame. It’s not appropriate, it’s disrespectful if they did.”

She spoke after joining more than 70 terror attack survivors and relatives 
of victims in calling on political parties to better protect them with quicker access to mental health support and compensation.

The open letter was signed by survivors of  attacks and relatives of victims, including of the shooting in Tunisia in 2015, in which 30 Britons, including two Scots, were killed, as well as Brendan Cox, husband of murdered Labour MP Jo Cox.

Earlier this year Ms Murray launched her campaign for Martyn’s Law in an attempt to better protect the public from terror attacks.

She is calling on the Government to make security plans mandatory at venues and public spaces, in particular those that set out what to do in the event of a terror attack.

At present such a strategy is optional rather than obligatory.

The idea, backed by Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, could also see venue staff undergoing counter-terrorism training. The law would make it a legal requirement for public spaces to have risk assessments and also make sure councils have plans to cope with a potential terror attacks.

Ms Murray, who also spoke yesterday about her experiences and the campaign at the International Security Expo in London, said: “I know it will save lives and families will be saved the heartache we have gone through.”

Earlier this year she started studying for a Masters in counter terrorism at the Central Lancashire University in Preston in an attempt to better understand policies and what could prompt attacks.

She said: “It’s ridiculous there are regulations for venues on how hot the food needs to be and how many toilets there needs to be, but nothing to do with planning for terrorist attacks.

“Times have changed and we need to move with the times.

“Terrorism is still on the menu. It’s happening. It will happen again. It isn’t something that’s just going to go away, whether we like it or not.

“Cost shouldn’t come into it. There are things that can be done that doesn’t involve a lot of cost. Apply common sense.”

She called on politicians to commit to the idea.

She said there had been an encouraging response so far but now called on politicians to commit to the idea.

Meanwhile, in a short statement issued through the Metropolitan Police, the family of the man who carried out last Friday’s knife attack expressed their condolences to the two victims who died and those who were injured.

It read: “We are saddened and shocked by what Usman has done. We totally condemn his actions and wish to express our condolences to the families of the victims that have died and wish a speedy recovery to all of the injured.”We would like to request privacy for our family at this difficult time.”

The statement came after the girlfriend of murdered Mr Merritt described him as a “phenomenal” man. Leanne O’Brien posted the message on Facebook after Mr Merritt’s father David attacked politicians for using his son’s death “to perpetuate an agenda of hate”.

She wrote of her boyfriend: “My love, you are phenomenal and have opened so many doors for those that society turned their backs on.”