This week 30 years ago: Islington South and Finsbury MP Chris Smith offers to be a hostage on hijacked Kuwaiti plane

Islington Gazette: April 22, 1988

Islington Gazette: April 22, 1988 - Credit: Archant

Islington South and Finsbury MP Chris Smith offered himself as a “swap” for hostages on a hijacked Kuwaiti airliner.

He was caught up in a hostage crisis at the end of a four-day visit to Cyprus. The MP was standing on the tarmac in Larnaca airport, waiting to board his return flight, when the hijacked airliner appeared.

Chris was with four other MPs and made the amazing offer to Cypriot authorities. He told the Gazette: “I did suggest they should negotiate a swap of all hostages for the British MPs – but I’m heartily glad it never came to that.”

The hostage crisis lasted 15 days. Two Kuwaiti nationals were shot dead.

In other news, an Archway arsonist caused chaos by starting five fires in the space of an hour.

The worst blaze was in a storeroom underneath flats in the Miranda Estate. Thankfully, no one was injured in the rampage between 2am and 3am.

Police arrested a man but released him after questioning.