[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 24 September 2007, 15:49 GMT 16:49 UK
Party applause for airport hero
John Smeaton
John Smeaton with Sarah Brown at the party conference

The prime minister used part of his Labour Party conference speech to praise the airport baggage handler who restrained a terror suspect.

John Smeaton accepted the applause of the Bournemouth crowd after Gordon Brown highlighted his heroic efforts.

The 31-year-old shot to fame after helping police tackle a man who drove a jeep into Glasgow's terminal building.

Mr Smeaton had already met Mr Brown at Downing Street and been praised by First Minister Alex Salmond.

Mention of Mr Smeaton came at the start of Mr Brown's first conference address as prime minister.

That man, that hero, John Smeaton, is here with us today and on behalf of our country we thank you
Gordon Brown
Prime Minister

The prime minister said the resilience of the British people had been "powerful proof of the character of our country".

Mr Brown went on: "When the terrorists tried to attack Scotland's biggest airport, they were answered by the courage of the police and of the fire fighters and a baggage handler named John Smeaton.

"He came to the aid of a policeman under assault from one of the terrorists.

"Later John told me it was instinctive, he was just doing what was right.

"That man, that hero, John Smeaton, is here with us today and on behalf of our country we thank you."

Downing Street

Mr Smeaton, who was sitting next to Mr Brown's wife Sarah during the speech, then stood up to accept the applause of those gathered.

At the beginning of August Mr Smeaton travelled to London to meet Mr Brown at 10 Downing Street.

A week later he was among a group, including emergency service workers, who were thanked by Mr Salmond.

The first minister said the country was "in their debt" for their efforts on 30 June.




SEE ALSO
Airport heroes thanked by Salmond
07 Aug 07 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
PM applauds hero airport worker
03 Aug 07 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Glasgow Airport attack man dies
03 Aug 07 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Airport hero back to baggage duty
30 Jul 07 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Airport 'hero' in charity pledge
18 Jul 07 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Karate newsagent challenges thief
17 Jul 07 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife

RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific