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Relatives launch website over airport heroes snub


Relatives of three of the heroes of the Glasgow Airport terror attack have accused the Prime Minister of failing to recognise the men's bravery. They have set up a website ( calling for the men to receive the same award as hero baggage handler John Smeaton.

The families of the three men, who helped tackled the bombers on June 30, are furious at the decision by Gordon Brown to award only Mr. Smeaton the Queen's Gallantry medal for bravery. Mr Smeaton was also invited to the last Labour Party conference, sitting with Mr Brown's wife and praised in a speech by the Premier.

Annette Kerr set up the website, and is calling for equal recognition for her husband Michael, as well as Alex McIlveen and Stephen Clarkson. She has written an angry letter to Gordon Brown and said: 'My family and the families of Alex and Stephen would like to see the actions of our loved ones recognised in line with those of John Smeaton.'

David Clarkson, the brother of Stephen Clarkson, who brought down burning bomber Kafeel Ahmed, allowing police to restrain him, has also contributed to the website. Mr Clarkson is recovering after undergoing emergency surgery at Glasgow's Southern General for a brain haemorrhage, and faces more surgery in the next few weeks.

David Clarkson said: 'We are not taking anything away from what John [Smeaton] did. But it seems really unfair that he is the only one to awarded this honour when all four men played a major part in averting a terrorist attack. John himself feels the other guys should also be recognised for what they did.'

Taxi driver Alex McIlveen also helped with the arrest of Ahmed, damaging his foot in the process, while holidaymaker Michael Kerr ran to assist a police officer who was being attacked by a second terror suspect and broke his leg in the melee. All four men received an award for outstanding bravery at the Pride of Britain awards as well as honours from Gordon Brown and Alex Salmond, but only Mr Smeaton will receive the Queen's Gallantry medal.

A spokesman for 10 Downing Street said the matter was being investigated.

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