The Mayor of London and Google will fund grass roots counter-terror work in the wake of November’s London Bridge attack.

Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, died when convicted terrorist Usman Khan launched a knife attack during a rehabilitation conference.

Now Sadiq Khan’s £800,000 fund – half from City Hall, matched by Google – will invest in community groups that tackle violent extremism and hate crime.

Hate-fuelled attacks in London have risen almost a third in the past four years, with more than 25,000 offences reported in 2019.

Racist attacks have risen by almost 30 per cent compared to 2015, with more than 17,000 offences last year.

Homophobic attacks have gone up 60 per cent to almost 3,000 last year, while transphobic hate crime nearly doubled to 287 offences.

Anti-Semitic attacks shot up by nearly 40 per cent to 632 offences last year, Islamophobic attacks were up 10 per cent to 1,172 – but are now falling – and other faith hate crimes rose by a third to 2,293 incidents.

Disability hate crime has risen more than 80 per cent in four years to 460 attacks in 2019.

Local organisations trying to address the problem can bid for up to £50,000 through the Mayor’s new programme.

Speaking at a launch event at Google’s headquarters yesterday (Tuesday), Mr Khan said that the “scourge” of intolerance “has absolutely no place” in London.

He said: “Sadly, we have also too often seen extremism on our streets with the horrific terror attack in London Bridge in November last year – as well as homophobic, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic incidents.

“We know that leaving the EU will raise tensions and bring new challenges – that is why it is so vital we empower our communities to help deliver change now.

“Violent extremism is one of the biggest threats facing London and our country.

“We simply must do better at working together to safeguard the vulnerable and stop people from promoting these vile ideologies with such horrific consequences.”

Rowan Barnett, head of Google’s philanthropic branch, said tackling extremism online was his “top priority” and he was pleased to support the new programme.

He said: “We believe communities and grassroots programmes are an incredibly important part of the effort to encourage collaboration, cooperation, and sensitivity across London.”