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Last Updated: Friday, 3 August 2007, 11:33 GMT 12:33 UK
PM applauds hero airport worker
John Smeaton and Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown said that John Smeaton was a true hero
An airport baggage handler who restrained a terror suspect was hailed a hero by Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

John Smeaton met Mr Brown during a visit to 10 Downing Street.

Mr Smeaton, 31, shot to fame after helping police tackle a man who was in a blazing jeep which was driven into the Glasgow Airport terminal building.

The PM arranged to meet Mr Smeaton to thank him personally on Thursday after being told he was in London to film a television interview.

Mr Brown said: "This is a very brave man and a very courageous man and I think the whole country owes John a debt of gratitude.

"He is a hero and we are proud of him."

John did not wait to act
Prime Minister Gordon Brown

After a short private chat with the prime minister, Mr Smeaton, on his first visit to the capital, said he was "honoured, humbled and bewildered".

Standing in the famous street, he said: "I really can't believe it. He's such a nice man, a true gentleman.

"I am totally stunned: you can see the smile across my face. I'm lost for words for once in my life."

Mr Smeaton, who was dressed in jeans, a white shirt and jacket, has achieved cult status after his part in dealing with the attack achieved international prominence.

Month off

During an interview immediately after the attack Mr Smeaton said: "This is Glasgow, you know - we'll set about you. That's it."

Mr Brown applauded Mr Smeaton's courage and direct action. He said: "John did not wait to act; he immediately went to help; he put his own life at risk.

"And all the time you were thinking of the women and children in the airport.

"These acts of heroism are already recognised by the people of this country."

Mr Smeaton returned to work at the airport on Monday after a month off to recover.

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