THE Prime Minister has hailed Southampton City Council leader Royston Smith a hero in the wake of the shooting on board a nuclear sub in the city.

Councillor Smith, 46, a former RAF engineer, wrestled and disarmed a gunman on board Britain's most powerful attack submarine during a civic tour of the vessel last Friday.

A Navy officer was fatally injured and three servicemen seriously wounded on HMS Astute while it was berthed at the Eastern Docks on a five-day official visit.

David Cameron took time out to personally meet Cllr Smith at Romsey Town Hall yesterday as he delivered a keynote speech on immigration.

Mr Cameron told the Daily Echo: “He's a fantastically brave man who did a brilliant thing saving a lot of lives. I'm just fantastically proud to meet him and I think everyone in Southampton should be proud of what he did.

“As with all people in these situations, he would hate to be described as a hero, he just thinks he did what he needed to do; he's also, I might say, doing a damn fine job running Southampton City Council when he's not saving lives on a submarine.”

• Able Seaman Ryan Samuel Donovan, 22, of Hillside Road, Dartford, Kent, has been charged with murder and three counts of attempted murder.

He has been remanded in custody to appear before Winchester Crown Court on June 10.