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Glasgow airport attack hero to stand as MP

A former baggage handler who helped tackle two suicide bombers at Glasgow airport in 2007 said on Friday he will contest the parliamentary seat vacated by the ex-Speaker of the House of Commons Michael Martin.

world Updated: Sep 25, 2009 17:10 IST

A former baggage handler who helped tackle two suicide bombers at Glasgow airport in 2007 said on Friday he will contest the parliamentary seat vacated by the ex-Speaker of the House of Commons Michael Martin.

John Smeaton won a gallantry medal from the Queen, plaudits from Prime Minister Gordon Brown and international fame after he helped police when two suicide bombers smashed a jeep loaded with fuel and gas canisters into the airport's entrance.

Smeaton, along with several other civilians, went to the aid of police officers as they tried to detain the two bombers after their vehicle became stuck in the terminal doors. The pair tried to detonate it with the petrol bombs, but the jeep failed to explode, although it did catch fire.

The driver Kafeel Ahmed died of his burns and his co-attacker Bil Abdullah was sentenced to 32 years in jail.

Smeaton said his decision to stand as an independent candidate for Glasgow North East had been motivated by his anger over MPs' expenses and the domination of the party political system.

"I just think in politics now, we the ordinary working people have been taken advantage of by politicians, especially by the political elite," Smeaton said in an online broadcast.

"Rather than politicians voting for what they believe in, they vote for what the party tells them, and I think that is wrong."

Smeaton has the backing of the Jury Team, a political movement launched in March by individuals who are against the current party political system.

He said he had read with disbelief the level and extent of expense claims made by some MPs.

If elected, Smeaton said he was going to "knock down doors (in Westminster) and make politicians responsible for what they do."

Former Speaker Martin became the first speaker in 300 years to be forced out of office in June over his handling of the MPs' expenses scandal.