The Strange Case of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and the McCanns 414


I have a confession to make. Back in 2014 I posted that I was going to write something further on the subject of the McCanns. In the end I did not, because I was surprised by the strong emotional reaction I received, from a number of decent people, who were enraged that I might be prepared to write something not to the McCanns’ advantage. But I regret being so pusillanimous, particularly as so much discussion has been suppressed by the extremely aggressive stance taken on threats of libel action on this story.

So in the full knowledge that some decent people will be outraged, here it is.

This week there have been two more developments. The Home Office has announced that it will fund still further the police investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance, on which £10 million has already been spent. Plus the appeals court in Lisbon has overturned the libel verdict against the Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral, who led the case and formed his own firm convictions at to what happened. The 500,000 euro libel award to the McCanns is now cancelled.

None of these sums of money would matter in the least, and practically nobody would grudge any expense, to have Madeleine McCann alive, safe and happy. There can be nothing worse for a parent than the loss of a child, whatever the circumstances. If the McCanns genuinely do not know what happened, that must be agonising beyond belief. My grandparents had a nineteen year old son, an uncle I never knew, missing in action in World War 2 and the pain never left them, even when his fate was resolved.

And yet, and yet… It is because our children are so precious to us that we treat them as such. I recall an incident on Jamie’s first birthday, which we spent in a hotel in Italy. I was in the room with Jamie. My then wife had gone out to the car. The birthday cake was delivered to reception and had to be paid for. Jamie was fast asleep. I dashed out of the hotel room, down two flights of steps to reception, literally threw the money at them and ran back up the stairs. I was away under two minutes but have never experienced such adrenalin, nor would wish to again. An overwhelming instinct had kicked in telling me I had done wrong in leaving the baby unattended, even so briefly.

I find the McCanns’ behaviour indefensible. There appears to be a disconnect in the public mind in the UK which prevents people from realising just how far the McCanns were from their children. This is a useful graphic just to see the layout, (do not worry about the other info on it).

maddie2_09_map

The McCanns could not actually see their apartment from the tapas bar due to the wall around the pool. To get back there, they had to use the gate and walk around that wall, which made it a 75 yard hike. And the apartment had double doors onto the street on the opposite side of the block from that facing the pool.

I do not see how anybody understanding this geography can consider that it was normal parenting for the McCanns to leave two one year olds and a three year old, alone in the apartment in these circumstances – for hours, and repeatedly several days running. It is something I would absolutely never dream of doing with my own children. If nothing else, had any of the children been crying and in distress – and the chances of that with three tiny children are pretty high – there was no way they could hear them.

The claimed abduction is not the only thing that could have happened. Cholic. Vomiting. Sore nappies. Coughing. Choking. Bad dreams. Overheating. All kinds of thing can distress children. So far as I can judge, it is not that I am weird in my own views, rather it is absolutely accepted in British society that you do not leave 1 year olds without care of an adult. Why are the McCanns an exception?

Which leads me on to the question of why they received such exceptional treatment from British authorities, directed straight from No. 10, to the extent that Blair and Brown eventually gave them a PR representative? I used at one stage to be Resident Clerk in the FCO, a now abolished post effectively of night duty officer. I can tell you from horrible personal experience that the FCO deals with gut-wrenching cases of lost or dead children abroad frequently. I spent one of the most terrible three hours of my life, through to a cold dawn, on the phone with a hysterical bereaved mother desperate to explore any avenue that might give a possibility that the boy who had just drowned in Brazil was misidentified as her son. On average, I am afraid such tragedies get substantially less than 1% of the public resources that were devoted to the McCanns.

I am going to come straight out with this. British diplomatic staff were under direct instruction to support the McCanns far beyond the usual and to put pressure on the Portuguese authorities over the case. I have direct information that more than one of those diplomatic staff found the McCanns less than convincing and their stories inconsistent. Embassy staff were perturbed to be ordered that British authorities were to be present at every contact between the McCanns and Portuguese police.

This again is absolutely not the norm. On a daily basis more British citizens have contact with foreign authorities than the total staff of the FCO. It would be simply impossible to give that level of support to everybody. Plus, against jingoistic presumption, a great many Brits who have contact with foreign police are actually criminals.

The British Ambassador in Portugal, John Buck, had been my direct boss in the FCO. he was Deputy Head of Southern European Department when I was Head of Cyprus Section. He and his staff were concerned by contradictions in the McCann’s story. The Embassy warned, in writing, that being perceived as too close to the McCanns might not prove wise. They demanded the instruction from London be reconfirmed. It was.

I know of people’s misgivings because I was told directly. But material was also leaked to a Belgian newspaper confirming what I have said. It was published by the Express, but like so much other material which is not supportive of the McCanns, it got taken down. Fortunately that last link preserved it. It also shows that the FCO continues to refuse Freedom of Information requests for the material on the interesting grounds that it might damage relations with Portugal.

For the avoidance of doubt, I do not believe there was a high level paedophile ring involved. I make no such argument. Nor do I claim to know what happened to Madeleine McCann. But I do believe that the McCanns were less than exemplary parents. I believe that New Labour’s No.10 saw, in typical Blair fashion, a highly photogenic tragedy which there might be popularity in appearing to work on.

And I believe there is a genuine danger that the high profile support from the top of the British government might have put some psychological pressure on the Portuguese investigators and prosecuting officers in their determinations.

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414 thoughts on “The Strange Case of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and the McCanns

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  • Ruth Bashford

    Dave who posted on Janury 9th 2018 at 17:23 has got it wrong. The officers charged with torturing Leonor Cipriani were found not guilty and Leonor was given a further 7 months in prison for lying. Goncalo Amaral was actually found guilty of perjury. The mystery is why did the McCann’s private detectives, Metodo 3, get involved with the case? Were they employed to look for Madeleine or discredit Amaral? Needs investigating!

    • Patricia Ossandón

      Metodo 3 WAS an agency that used illegal methods to spy high politicians under the order of corrupted police officers. The ex director and 3 detectives were detained for those illegal activities, they accused each other, so there is a good idea of their moral values, they would sell their mothers for money. Among those illegal activities money laundering is included.
      Don’t think it’s a coincidence that two unknown doctors contacted a Spanish???? agency specialized in illegal activities… not known for searching abducted kids…who recommended them???

    • Pam Gurney

      Craig can look into the Leonor Cipriano torture himself. He would know the ropes regarding this kind of thing & will know other Brits in Portugal have endured torture at the hands of the old PJ. It has been brought up in parliament.

      The reason it went against Leonor in her appeal was simply because she was hooded at the time of the torture and could not visually identify her assailants in the PJ. She did recognise their voices. Not really very good is it?

  • James Donlan

    The problem we face now is the UK Government will never accept they got it wrong, so any new evidence will be swept under the carpet. Protecting the Governments reputation is going to outweigh justice for Madeleine McCann unfortunately.

  • G Thompson

    McCanns are rotten to the core..
    NOT EVEN CHARGED WITH CHILD NEGLECT..

    WHY..
    Random woman from Coucil estate takes off to Spain leaving 11yr old and rightly suffers due consequences on return.. No Status/Friends in high places to pervert course of justice on HER behalf.
    UK Justice..?? A SICK JOKE.. no more no less.

    • Pam Gurney

      2 cases I recall since Madeleine’s disappearance & possibly regarding council house dwellers, although I cannot say that for sure:

      1 A woman who left her 4 children at home to take a 3 week holiday overseas in order to attend her friends wedding . Questioned…no charges made.

      2 A woman took her 2 boys to Spain. She went out on the “razz” (as anti McCanns put it) every single night and got drunk. The boys were left in the room or apartment but one night one of the boys, because they were hungry, went out to try and find his mother. Instead he was picked up by a Good Samaritan (luckily…could have been so different), taken to the Spanish police offices and they returned the boy to his room/apartment and waited in for the mother to return eventually, so drunk she was out of control! No charges made there either!

      Nobody I know says what the McCanns did was the wisest decision of their lives and they have paid the price and so has Madeleine. However, they were only metres away from their apartment and it took less than a minute to get from table to the patio doors and in. They checked frequently just as a legally running Listening Service would have done….as I have mentioned in another reply.

      The children were not neglected in the true sense of the word, or at all. Do we go up to our children’s bedrooms frequently once they are asleep or do we leave them in peace to sleep and assume they are ok, possibly checking once and again as we retire? Then 6/8 hours of sleep for all…hopefully…with no checks!

      • Alhazred DeSane

        “Do we go up to our children’s bedrooms frequently once they are asleep or do we leave them in peace to sleep and assume they are ok, possibly checking once and again as we retire? Then 6/8 hours of sleep for all…hopefully…with no checks!”

        Actually, when they are very young, yes. But in your outline above the parents are in the house. I wouldn’t need to check the kids while I’m downstairs, there’s no way someone could get in without my becoming aware of it. A quick check before I go to sleep, again knowing that it’s hard work to break into the house, and highly unlikely to escape my attention.

        The situations are not comparable. The McCanns left two 1 year olds alone with a slightly older sister while they partied nearby, but out of sight. That they did so every night made their pattern easy to observe. I feel for them, I really do, but they neglected their kids.

  • Sheryl

    If you are in any doubt of the innocence of the McCanns in this case then please watch Peter Hyatt’s statement analysis and his conclusion of an embedded confession in one of their interviews. Statement analysis is a fascinating tool used by the FBI.

    • Peter Szolkowski

      Richard D Hall’s Youtube Videos on the McCann case should be aired on National TV. They never will though hence I try to share this info everywhere. Paedophilia goes right to the top and In my opinion the McCanns are deeply involved. Also, in my opinion, Madeline is not the McCann’s daughter at all. Both alleged parents being doctors would have access to a baby belonging to a mother who was told her child had died. Just my conjecture….. a theory. This would explain to me at least the utter lack of emotion from either alleged parent when talking about their supposed daughter. Never have I seen a tear shed for this child by either of the McCanns. This is just not normal. Saville frequented hospitals for years and we all know why.

    • Pam Gurney

      Mumbo Jumbo/Hocus Pocus…no more than that. Lie Criminal Profiling it is not an exact science. When my sister in law was murdered the Metropolitan Police criminal profiler said the man was middle class and drove an upmarket car. He was actually “Care in the Community” and had no car and was taken places by the taxi driver who identified him eventually to the police … when the News of the World offered a reward!

  • Idomy Research

    Cover up = an attempt to prevent people discovering the truth about a serious mistake or crime.
    Maddie McCann – No one can find a thread of truth after 11 years!
    Conclusion – Cover up!
    Why? Because a public figure was involved along with the McCanns in something deemed sordid or illegal? Why else would 10 Downing Street be involved to such an extent within hours of the alarm being raised? Why else would the authorities DEMAND that the case ONLY be investigated from an abduction angle leaving the “parents” (I use the word parents loosely as no caring parent would leave babies alone) out of the equation completely.
    I probably began my research like most with a kind of curious thought but having formed no initial opinion other than something seemed odd. Just a few short hours later, with the help of officially accepted videos and documents, I had come to the conclusion that “odd” was an understatement and that the McCanns were involved in this “disappearance” up to their necks. The accepted official evidence points to nobody else so I am left in no doubt that an attempt has been made to prevent people discovering the truth about a serious mistake or crime and that has the backing of some in the top echelons of power. A full blown cover up!

    • Pam Gurney

      You do make me laugh! Grow up please people and get a brain! Apologies but these ridiculous “it’s been a cover up for people in high places” is just off the Richter scale in idiocy!

      Don the tin foil hat…quick!

  • Chris Barclay

    “I believe that New Labour’s No.10 saw, in typical Blair fashion, a highly photogenic tragedy which there might be popularity in appearing to work on.” Quite possible. However, it would not explain why the British Government wanted to chaperone the McCanns during police interviews when no journalists or photographers were present. The only explanation for that is that the FCO wanted to be aware immediately of any change in direction of the investigation by the Portuguese police. It’s difficult to say why that may be. One explanation, however, is that the FCO wanted to go over the heads of the police investigation and thereby affect the course of the investigation.

    • Kathryn Dooney

      Utter loons. The McCann’s had friends in the media that Kate grew up with. They threatened to put the government on the front page of the paper if they didn’t help because initially they refused to get involved. Any cover up is rubbish. What’s far more likley is that the government where scared about what the papers where going to print about them! Their threats to expose them where printed early on. Clearly read nothing of the facts and everything about conspiracy theories.

      As for Richard D Hall he’s another nutter who also said we are being watched by aliens from Mars. FFS He’s used some very convincing misinformation to convince people of his theory. He doesn’t let people know that the blood found was from an unknown male, ( conviently ) He has done other false videos proven to be false when cases have been solved re other high profile cases. He uses a so called statement analysts that’s self taught and examining things out of context. No true professional would go on a YouTube video with a conspracist. It’s laughable. It convinces people because that’s how conspiracy theories work. They speak to the members of society easily influenced and lacking in intelligence…Fact!

  • Nick

    We are probably talking about a cover up here.
    All the assistance from start, the Britt gave false leads to PJ, Mitchell left a well paid job in the Gov to assist the McCann’s and more….
    Why?
    Well, I don’t know but there is only one known connection between the Blair Gov and G McCann and it’s named “COMARE”.
    Gerry did work under COMARE in 2006 and they researched the risk of cancer around Nuclear plants.
    What also happened in 2006 was that Blair made a 360 degree turn and started the plans to build Hinkley Point C.
    If we read the COMARE report from that time we can see that they concluded that it was no increased risk of cancer around the nuclear plants but if we read other reports on the same theme they concluded the opposite.
    Brown took office and gave go ahead to Hinkley Point C and it was EDF who built it, Gordon Browns brother is a Director at EDF.
    Key players in this case were Smethurst, Brian Kennedy and Bell Pottinger those keyplayers were also involved in the nuclear industry and in the Hinkley point C project.
    This is snipped from an interview with Goncalo Amaral in august 2008:
    “Where did the alleged power of the couple, which you have been suggesting, come from”?

    “On the first night, a dossier about the family was requested, which the English authorities never sent. It was said that they were connected to commissions that emitted opinion reports on nuclear issues, but none of that was ever confirmed officially. Connections to political parties were also mentioned.”

    Hinkley Point C was a very expensive ongoing project and the nuclear industry is a matter to the national security and this was a very sensitive time for the project I believe and Brown Gov gave gohead in 2008 to build Hinkley Point C.
    I wonder if Gerry knew something very sensitive and
    inconvenient things about this which he could reveal?

    • Pam Gurney

      Getting bored now but have to ask…what do you mean by “Britt gave false leads to the PJ”???????????????

      Gerry wasn’t knowledgeable about any nuclear secretive stuff, I’m sure of that! Conspiracy theories again. Agh! I fear for the sanity of my fellow Brits. What has destroyed people’s capability for intelligent thinking that everything has to be some kind of cover up or government conspiracy to do bad things? Mad!

  • Rob Champion

    If the abduction theory is true and Tannerman is the culprit, it has been proven that the window of opportunity for him would have been around 2 – 3 minutes from Gerry leaving the apartment and the Jane Tanner sighting. I’m sure that this is why, sometime later, Gerry says that thinking back, he sensed that there may have been someone in the apartment during his last visit. Either he had this sense at the time, or he didn’t. If he did, then surely he would have looked behind the doors etc., who would go away and leave their kids if they had that feeling? I don’t think it’s credible to come up with the “thinking back” tale other than to give an extended window of opportunity to Tannerman. He’s conveniently remembering something that didn’t happen.

    • Pam Gurney

      Shall I tell you what I really think happened that day? You may think I’m mad but compared to what I read daily on facebook/twitter and forums and blogs I would say it makes the most sense, in all honesty.

      Kate reported that after the children had had their high tea at the Tapas area. which the creches arranged I believe, Madeleine became inordinately tired to the point of having to be carried back to 5a.

      That evening the children were tired and ready for bed without going to play at the park, as was their daily routine. Kate just put it down to having had fun filled days and tiredness catching up on them, but then we learn how .Kate is worried/perplexed because the twins did not disturb in the immediate aftermath of finding Madeleine gone nor when the police were in the bedroom with them and her

      • Pam Gurney

        Pam Gurney
        January 1, 2019 at 17:59
        Shall I tell you what I really think happened that day? You may think I’m mad but compared to what I read daily on facebook/twitter and forums and blogs I would say it makes the most sense, in all honesty.
        Kate reported that after the children had had their high tea at the Tapas area. which the creches arranged I believe, Madeleine became inordinately tired to the point of having to be carried back to 5a.
        That evening the children were tired and ready for bed without going to play at the park, as was their daily routine. Kate just put it down to having had fun filled days and tiredness catching up on them, but then we learn how .Kate is worried/perplexed because the twins did not disturb in the immediate aftermath of finding Madeleine gone nor when the police were in the bedroom with them and her.

        My thoughts on this are that someone in the Tapas area was able to slip some form of sedative into the children’s meal or drink in order to facilitate the smooth abduction. Makes sense doesn’t it?

        Gerry did say he felt that perhaps there had been someone hanging around the apartment during his check and I think he was right to feel that.

        You see Matt had done a check so the abductors would assume that was it for 20 minutes or whatever, Gerry wasn’t happy with Matt’s check as we know, so he returned to check on the children himself. I think at that point the abductors (there must have been 2) ducked out of the apartment but were probably outside of the front door, which the McCanns didn’t use and they would have worked that out by then. It was dark and shadowy by that door and it was recessed from other prying eyes. All seen in the PJ files pics.

        So Gerry then leaves and in the assailant slips again but they did not have any notion at all that Gerry would bump into Jez Wilkins and stop and chat so the man making off with Madeleine must have had a very nasty shock when he realised not only Gerry & Jez were there (but sadly did not see him) but Jane was almost on top of him but again didn’t realise it was Madeleine being taken away until Kate raised the alarm.

        Tannerman is the man the police need to find….100% certain on that score. Not Totman or Martin Smith’s man, but Jane Tanner’s man.

        • ruth bashford

          I’ll tell you what I think happened that night, Pam. The McCanns had been seriously neglecting their children by leaving them alone and sedating them. An accident happened to Madeleine some time after 6.p.m on the 3rd May and Madeleine died. The McCanns fearful of what a post mortem might reveal (sedation, maybe) decided to hide her body and make out she’d been abducted.
          Gerry hid Madeleine’s body in a bin, after he was seen by the Smith family, and it ended up in landfill. The hire car could simply be a red herring as it could have got contaminated with cadaver odour from the apartment and Madeleine’s body might never have been in it.

          This makes a lot more sense than Madeleine and the twins being sedated by a stranger as I think that’s nonsense. Kate has said she suspected Madeleine and the twins had been sedated by the abductor so why didn’t she attempt to wake them and get them to hospital as an emergency? I can only think of one reason why she did not do that.

          • Wanting truth and justice for maddie

            Also if Kate thought twins had been sedated too why didn’t she have them tested to find out if anything in their systems?

          • Juanda Harper

            And she left the twins alone to sound the alarm!!!!! What????

            Also, every time I see a video and Maddie is biting her lip it bothers me. In my humble opinion, that it a nervous habit. Why would a 4 year old be nervous?

            And the comment Payne made to Gerry about Maddie? That would have sent any normal father over the edge.

            The bathing of each other’s children? I would let a male bathe my male child (in a pinch) and a female bathe my female child but not the way they did!

  • Thomas McNaughton

    The strangest thing about the whole thing is the idea that these parents would actually leave their children unattended like this. My theory is that they did not. There was an adult present each night and the unattended story was just fabricated to create the possibility of an abduction that never happened. Think about it – if you don’t believe there was an abduction then why then also believe the outlandish idea that they would actually leave one years olds on their own. You wouldn’t, I wouldn’t and they wouldn’t.

  • Sonic5000

    Hi, first post on this forum,

    Just a couple of views for Craig & others.

    Reading Gonçalo Amaral’s book Chapter 12 he states that after Kate had raised the alarm all had rushed to the apartment except Diane Webster who remained at the table for a few more minutes. Reading this its as if she already knew what was happening or had happened.

    My second concern is regarding Yvonne Warren Martin, the Child Protection Officer who was staying near the resort on the day Madeleine went missing. After hearing about the disappearance on the news decided to offer help to The McCann family. She in her statement to the PJ said that she had met David Payne during the course of her duties as CPO but was unsure if it was professional or as a suspect. This encounter resulted in her writing anonymously to UK police asking if he was on the sex offenders register. She received no answer. The link to her statement

    http://www.mccannpjfiles.co.uk/PJ/YVONNE-WARREN-MARTIN.htm

    • ruth bashford

      Actually two Tapas staff members, Joaquim Jose Moreira Batista and Starikova Vitorino who made statements on 04/05/07 tell a different story to the McCanns and their friends. According to them Gerry was missing for about 30 minutes and when he came back everyone else left the table except Diane Webster. Their statements are in the PJ files.

  • Janet Byrne

    Surely publicity cannot be the only reason the McCann’s were so protected by the UK Government?
    Besides, the Blair Government is no longer. Will this tragedy ever be solved?

  • AugustMoon

    The things I can’t get my head around with this Is………………….

    1. If someone was lurking about then why didn’t the guy who GM stopped to talk to (The same guy he played tennis with that day ) while wheeling his child up and down NOT see anyone acting strange ? And if the kids were getting checked every 15mins then how come KM didn’t go and check when GM didn’t return to the table as he was talking to the guy for 25mins or more ?
    2. The biggest tabloid story in England and NOT ONE person i.e neighbour etc has ever sold a story on them – Either to say nice things or the fact that they don’t believe them , How come ?
    3. As DOCTORS how come their kids were said to be sharing the same toothbrush and GM had to return to the UK to retrieve MM pillowcase as there was not enough / NONE of the child’s DNA in the apartment ?
    4. Why use an old picture as a find poster when the picture dose not even look like her at all and was clearly taken the Christmas before ? why not use one from the actually holiday that she went ”missing” from THAT WEEK ?
    5. Why cant their mobile phones confirm where they were at the time of ”Abduction ” ? and why were their text’s wiped ?

    6. Was ALL of MM clothes still in the apartment after she disappeared ?
    7. Why was her bed remade as in the photos that I have seen – What 3year old child or ”abductor” remakes a bed after snatching a child.?

    8. who is keeping an eye on the ”Fund” ? £34,000 for setting up the find MM wed site when t was them that set it up and £133,000 for ”Media Monitoring ” whatever that is ? Not to mention a Pension and insurance clause and mortgage payments .
    I honestly don’t know which is more shocking – Their actions before their child disappeared or since .

    • Pam Gurney

      August Moon:

      1 For goodness sake! Why did Wilkins have to have noticed a strange man walking across the top road?

      2 Are your neighbours the kind who would sell a story to the press about you? Obviously they are!

      3 The toothbrushes….children can grab at any in the tumbler or on the holder and start to use. They are not particular! I have seen some disgusting theories from those waging war against the McCanns. I fear for their minds.

      4 On the pillowcase/dna in the apartment. Of course Madeleine’s dna was present in the apartment but how were they to separate it from all other dna? The reason for the pillowcase was to have a more likely controlled sample of Madeleine’s dna to compare to. Maybe the beds had been changed prior to going to Portugal and the twins had not been in the bed. In Luz all of the family had sat on the bed or likely as not the twins had jumped all over it.

      5 The photo of Madeleine in the red velvet dress depicted her eye flash better than ANY other BUT remember the photo taken by the swimming pool in Luz was also used. To me Madeleine still looked like the girl in the red dress except her hair was longer on holiday. We saw a number of snapshots of Madeleine around Luz.

      6 On the mobile phones. In 2007 we all used to delete calls to make room for other data. Memories in phones were not that great back then. They were not like the phones we use today. Has there been any concern shown about these deleted texts from the police or do you think they have sorted it out….but you are not privy to that? I expect the McCanns wanted to be able to keep taking calls and texts from their loved ones back home.

      We know Kate & Gerry were dining at the Tapas don’t we? Amaral confirmed that Gerry was at the table when Kate raised the alarm.

      7 Madeleine’s clothes were obviously still in the apartment after her disappearance. She was taken wearing her pyjamas. Whoever took her did not raid the wardrobe for her clothes as well….they were gone….scarpered.

      8 What makes you say her bed was remade when clearly from the forensic photographic evidence it was not and it showed signs of having been slept in?

      9 You are, with all due respect, talking complete & utter nonsense throughout your comments August Moon.

      Let’s hope 2019 is going to bring this girl home. That is surely what decent people would want for her?

      What the McCanns did we might not all choose to do BUT remember this….that in many overseas resorts run by Mark Warner, they offer a Listening Service and if it had been on offer in Luz and used, who then would you have to blame for Madeleine’s abduction?

      At present the Listening Services are running quite legally. They only check by listening at windows and doors, not entering the apartments at all, EVER!

      Can we please stop the 12 years (almost) of hate? It’s gone on for too long.

      Craig Murray only has to look into what had happened to some British tourists in Portugal pre Madeleine’s abduction to know why the government took such an interest in her disappearance. I’m sure August Moon, had it been your child you would have wanted the same level of support?

      On the Embassy staff, well I happen to be the acquaintance of the parents of one of the senior officials at the Embassy in Lisbon, who told me how upset they all were at Madeleine’s disappearance and both parents told me the reaction was to put up their hands and declare “there but for the Grace of God walk I”.

      Think on!

      • Pam Gurney

        August Moon, I forgot to address your concerns regarding the FindMadeleine Fund.

        What is it in particular you are concerned about? What “Pension Clause”? What “mortgage repayments”?

        Setting up a website in 2007 would not be the doddle it is today. I remember my friend starting up and it was a nightmare.

        I think you are listening to ALL of the garbage from the facebook forums and bloggers and twitter and not researching properly from intelligent sources.

        The McCanns did borrow 2 mortgage repayments in the very early days when they were having to sort out their finances to allow them to take a prolonged stay in Portugal. The person who owned the villa they ended up staying in was not going to give them months of free rental or any free rental at all! The Ocean Club were good enough to have done so for a few weeks but let’s not forget how lax they were at not informing residents of the break-ins which had taken place prior to the McCanns occupying 5a. They kept it quiet! Things might have been so different had it been brought to the holidaymakers attention….don’t you think?

        So they had to make the arrangements and Gerry had to take extended leave from the NHS. Until everything was sorted they borrowed the 2 months mortgage repayments for Rothley which freed up their money in the bank to pay their rent in Luz. Simples!

        Those 2 months mortgage repayments were repaid in full.

        Please also remember that eventually the McCanns contributed a vast sum of money into the Find Madeleine (No Stone Unturned) Fund and so did their friends who received awards settled out of court from the newspaper groups who had taken what the PJ leaked to the journalists at face value instead of checking out whether or not the information was true.

        I draw your attention to Martin Brunt’s “scoop” regarding the blood in the hire car being 100% Madeleine’s. Clever that as NO BLOOD was found in the hire car and the FSS stated that there was no way of confirming what they did have as having come from Madeleine. The matches were probably by chance and could have just as easily have been contributed by you or I….that is how dna works. We share it but there are unique strands which could prove where they came from or who they came from. This was never found in any of the tests done by the FSS on any swabs they received from the apartment nor the hire car. Cellular material was tested NOT BLOOD…. there is a difference but perhaps you don’t know that?

        • ruth bashford

          The McCanns can do what they like with the fund which is a not for profit company and not a charity. It’s not illegal as it was made clear on their website that contributions to the fund can help the McCann family financially. Although most people thought they were donating money to help find Madeleine this was never the case.

          Why are you making such a fuss about whether there was Madeleine’s blood in the hire car or not? As I’ve already pointed out even if Madeleine’s body was never in the hire car it wouldn’t exonerate the McCanns. If you knew anything about cadaver and blood dogs you would know that it’s almost certain a dead body was in the McCann’s apartment and cadaver dog alerts do not need DNA or forensic evidence to corroborate them.

      • Andrea

        The dna control sample could have been taken from the clothes she was wearing that day, no need then to go back to England is there. When the police asked for something of Madeleines for the sniffer dogs to track, why did the parents offer up a bathroom towel (the kids picked up each other’s toothbrushes but had there very own towels that weren’t touched by anyone else), I don’t think so. That bed was not slept in (just had a neatly turned down corner. An abductor making a mad dash with a child (as he would have to) would not leave bedsheets like that. Taking Maddie from her bed if you believe the Tanner sighting, he was holding her the wrong way round. The child’s head would be on the right arm, due to the position of her bed and no the supposed abductor didn’t go outta that window. On another note being rude doesn’t get your points across any clearer, it just makes you look a bit unstable.

  • Jie Wang

    Dear Craig Murray,

    Thank you for telling truth and have a opposite voice like Sharon Osbourne, Katie Hopkins and Katie Price…

    It is so wrong that the whole World are forced to listen lies from the MacCanns, and the media feed new theories of “abduction” in time between, again and again.

    It dirties the civilised environment we strive to keep. It endanger the law enforcement body we believe.

    Along side the Netflix serie comes now. The media again pro MacCann once more, and silent the opposite opinions.

    This phenomenon must stop. The guilty parents must bring to justice.

    Thank you again

    Yours Sincerely
    Jie Wang

  • Isa

    Craig , I was reading your twitter feed and just a heads up . ( I’m not on twitter to reply there ) . More important than the absence of the Gaspar files or Yvonne Martin statements in the pulse films ( vice media ) for Netflix is the fact they also misrepresented the truth regarding Martin smith as you may see from this excerpt from an article by Gemma o Doherty who talked to Martin smith on the occasion of a panorama documentary that also misrepresented the truth . BBC has to apologise and retract so if Netflix repeats the same untruth , This documentary is not as independent as it pretends .

    Also , reading the pre Netflix release articles the thing that jumped at me is that all articles focused more on the fact the parents had nothing to do with documentary , rather than the documentary itself . It heightened my alarm radars as it’s far too similar to a press release by Clarence Mitchell . I’m quite sure that Mitchell a d co highly likely had a hand in this documentary .

    “most expensive police investigations in history. It was launched in 2011 after the Portuguese closed their enquiry in 2008. Funds are expected to run out at the end of March. Grange has been heavily criticised for refusing to reinterview Gerry and Kate McCann and the so-called Tapas Seven. The Met said local police had already done this and there was no need to repeat the process, but the Portu- guese investigation was littered with failings and best practice in cases like this dictates it is always important to eliminate those closest to the child first.
    Portuguese Court says
    ‘innocence not proved’
    Meanwhile the McCanns have been fighting a lengthy legal battle against former Portuguese police chief Goncalo amaral who accused the couple of faking Madeleine’s abduction. The one- time lead detective in the case, amaral was initially ordered to pay damages of half a million euros to the McCanns over allegations he made against them in his 2008 book ‘The Truth of the Lie’.
    This decision was overturned on appeal. The McCanns then appealed against him to Portugal’s Supreme Court. It found that Gerry and Kate had not ‘successfully proved their innocence’ and ruled against them. The couple are believed to be chal- lenging that judgement to the European Court of Human Rights.
    and in Britain, as matters currently stand, if the authorities are any closer to finding the chief sus- pect in the world’s most famous missing child case, they are certainly not saying.
    as for the man the Smiths saw that night, he has yet to come forward to eliminate himself from the enquiry and remains unidentified.

    in the media that the family had retracted their statements. The public were being told that this potentially critical development was just another red herring.
    The BBC even went as far as to make this claim. In a ‘Panorama’ programme broadcast in May 2017 to mark the tenth anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance, presenter Rich- ard Bilton told viewers that the Smiths had changed their mind about seeing Gerry McCann and now believed they had seen someone else.
    In recent weeks, I have spoken to Martin Smith at his home in Drogheda. He told me he continues to stand by everything he said to police in 2007. at no point did he withdraw his statement or change his mind about the sighting.
    He is frustrated by media claims that he now says he was mistaken; and remains “60-80 per cent” convinced that the man he saw that night was Gerry McCann.
    after the BBC programme was broadcast, Martin contacted ‘Panorama’ and informed them of their inaccuracy. But the broadcaster failed to correct the record despite its public- service remit.
    Last month, I asked the BBC why they had wrongly suggested the Smith sighting had been withdrawn and if they were willing to correct their error at this late stage.
    I received a reply acknowledging that they had indeed broadcast an inaccuracy. They agreed to update the ‘Panorama’ programme on their iPlayer to reflect the correction. They say the mistake was made in good faith but they have failed to explain how they came to
    make such a fundamental error and why they did not contact Martin Smith before they aired the broadcast to check if their story was correct.
    Former Scotland Yard murder detective Colin Sutton is one of a number of experi- enced officers who believe the Smith sighting is one of the most important pieces of evi- dence available to the investigation.
    according to media reports, Sutton had been tipped to head up the new probe by Brit- ish police in 2010. He claims he received a call shortly after these reports from a high- ranking friend in the Met who warned him not to take on the job as he would not be happy being told what he could and could not look at.
    Several aspects of the new investigation perplex him including the apparent decision by Operation Grange not to question Gerry and Kate McCann or their friends again.
    “Looking at the background to the whole case again, inconvenient suggestions like the Smith sightings, have been dismissed on a number of occasions”, he says:
    “When someone comes forward like that, it must be taken very seriously. It wasn’t just a throwaway phone call. It was something quite specific. The fact that Mr Smith’s memory was triggered by seeing Gerry McCann carrying the child down the steps of the plane is quite relevant because I think that is how the mind works. It is a trigger I would take quite seriously.
    I can see no reason why Martin Smith would make these claims. He has nothing to gain (…) from village magazine , did the bbc bend the truth article ( link does not work anymore ).

  • Phil Harris

    Craig
    I am not sure why your 2016 post has popped up from the archive. I fully accept your personal experience with FCO and with your children. My personal experience with our own children is similar to yours. Probably a bit pointless to add a 403rd comment, but ….
    FWIW:
    1. These days technology enables wireless links / ‘baby alarms’. I have to assume that these were not in use? Relatedly, were young children of any other family similarly connected, or not, to their parents using the Tampas bar, perhaps on the same consecutive nights? What were the ‘group mores’ for parents and children? Was there any guidnace in ‘hotel rules’?
    2. It is possible to be trained to ignore important intstinctive / intuitive behaviours, whether deliberately or inadvertently as part of a social group. Miltary or interrogation behaviours, for example, must essentially, it seems, be ‘learned’. And dominant individuals can consciously, or unconsciously impose ‘spell-binding’ constraints on people in their orbits, with not necessarliy intended consequences.
    Has any of this been looked at?
    Sorry I have not read all the previous 400 comments for answers to my queries.
    Phil

  • gobrien

    Had to get to near the end for a true gem;

    “I believe that New Labour’s No.10 saw, in typical Blair fashion, a highly photogenic tragedy which there might be popularity in appearing to work on.”

    Princess Diana’s death, 9/11, Soham, McCanns – so just another example of Blair stoking hysteria in order to assist Murdoch newspaper sales

  • Farmer's Boy

    Does anyone know what time the last sighting of Madeline was that was not corroborated by either the McCanns or the Tapas 7?

  • Greg

    I hope the explanation for Brown’s involvement is as relatively benign as you have speculated. Essentially you are arguing what amounts to a “snowball” theory: that an initial misjudgment – seeing the thing as an attractive New Labour PR situation, leads to decisions and consequences which become ever more momentous and removed from the initial cause – rather like the case of Mohamed Bouazizi’s fury at being told to shift his orange cart by a female police officer, eventually leads to Qaddafi, trembling in a sewer pipe, the overthrow of Mubarak and 700,000 Syrians moving to Germany.

    What makes me nervous that there maybe more going on is Brown’s visit to Beaumont Leys police station on 12 Sept 2007, along with Jacqui Smith, then Home Secretary. To my knowledge this is the sole time in his whole career that Brown has revealed a deep interest in the intricacies of community policing and with 1500 police stations to choose from on for a fact finding visit, it seems an astonishingly remarkable coincidence to have selected the station just 5 miles from the McCann’s Rothley home just 3 days after the McCann’s suddenly decided to come back to the UK having been made “arguidos” by the Portuguese. Realistically, the only plausible explanation for this trip was a desire to establish a rapport/relationship with the senior officers of Leicestershire Police supervising the McCann inquiry. We don’t know how far in advance the trip was planned, but if the date just 3 days after the McCann’s return as not a fluke and it was only arranged after the McCann’s had been made “arguidos”, it would suggest that the matter was sufficiently urgent in Brown’s mind to clear his diary and order that Smith do likewise to give him some cover. We don’t know who he met on this trip (one suspects that Superintendent Stuart Prior might be a plausible candidate), but what we do know is that the Leicestershire Police handled the McCann case with either breathtaking incompetence or a calculated plan to protect the McCann’s however they could. Moreover those involved have not found themselves reprimanded in any way but as in the case of Stuart Prior , been prompted. One example of this was their sitting on the Gaspar accusations against Gerry McCann and David Payne for around five months and in particular waiting until they had facilitated the removal of Gonzalo Amoral from the case in Portugal. A second example was sitting on the Trotman evidence for 6 years! Here we have a credible witness come forward and say, this Tannerman abductor guy you have been searching the globe for it was me, this was what I was wearing, this is where I was at that time, this is my daughter I was carrying. But the evidence was quietly ignored, which of course was perfect for the McCann’s abductor narrative. A third issue is the absurdly soft ball witness questioning carried out by the LP and their willful refusal to follow up the blatantly important lines of inquiry that these did throw up (Such as the fact that Tanner was texting Charlotte Gorrod nee Batchelor at 8.30pm 3rd, and that the Gorrod’s were friends that lived 2 minutes from her and had also booked the same week holiday in Luz with Mark Warner but had for some reason ended up in 5C of the Millennium building rather than 5C next to Tanner/ROB and the Oldfields in 5D and McCanns in 5A. That the Gorrods hired a grey Opel Corsa rental car which strangely did 750kms that week and was apparently borrowed by Russell O’Brien and matched the description of a small grey car seen parked outside the 5A flat. May or may not have proved relevant but you don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to realise it might be sensible to pop down to Exeter to ask a few questions. This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the LP’s extraordinary treatment of the McCanns.

    If as seems highly plausible, Brown was instrumental in instilling this attitude, it would of course be a blatantly illegal attempt to obstruct justice. It would also seem unnecessary if the relatively benign snowball theory is correct. Brown was not alone in his initial support of the McCanns in the first few days of the disappearance. Until the facts became more clear, just about the whole country was sympathetic. Given his obvious interest in the case, Brown would have been briefed by the FCO as to the fact that the evidence from the cadaver dogs made it highly likely that Maddie had died in 5a. Politically he should have put as much distance between himself and the McCann’s as possible. Had they been shown to have covered up the accidental death of their daughter, it would have been mildly embarrassing for him but given the rest of the country was also take in in those early days it would surely have not been a big deal.

  • Gary

    Yes, there have been other high profile cases too – Ben Needham springs to mind, where there was none of the support offered. But the McCanns were articulate and believable on TV and THAT is your answer. Had they been a typical working class family we’d have forgotten who they were by now (as most people have with Ben Needham’s family, sadly)

    But I have two conflicting thoughts on their behaviour ie being so far away. Firstly, man holiday firms at home and abroad, perhaps thrity years ago (their parents era for being the children on holiday) ran ‘Look In Services’ whereby the parents could be down at the pool enjoying a show, drinks or a meal perhaps in the evening but the children would be tucked up safely in bed. They would be left alone but the holiday company reps would, every 30 mins (I think the timing is correct) or so, go in to the room/apartment to ‘look in on’ the children. If they were sleeping, all well and good but if they needed anything other than a drink of water the parents would be fetched. I imagine childhood memories of being ‘looked in on’ lead them to form their own private ‘look in service’ to ensure they didn’t have to be so ‘crass’ as to have their meal with buggies and prams full of sleeping children next to them (perhaps that sounds unkind BUT, see my second point) Secondly, were they not so articulate working class people and/or back in the UK (although middle class parents are yet harder to deal with in the UK anyway [an in-law of mine is a social worker specialising in ‘Children & Families, middle class neglectful parents are SO much more difficult to deal with, resolve, help the children of for various reasons, all of which you have already worked out for yourself]) they would have been prosecuted for neglect. NB I know personally of a case where a mother, having a long lie one morning was convicted for Neglect as her toddler had managed to unlock the front door and get out to the front garden to be spotted by a neighbour. THAT CASE was accidental, in the McCann’s case it was deliberate. In the case I know there were no adverse consequences whatever. In the McCann’s case Madeleine is missing, presumed dead.

    The Portuguese Police believe that one or both of the parents have somehow contributed to Madeleine’s death in some way (other than just by neglecting her) but the McCann’s used their PR staff, their fund and their influence to refuse to cooperate, to quell stories in the press and to threaten and pursue libel actions against anyone and everyone including the investigator in the case itself. Given that there was little evidence they had deliberately done away with her, there WAS ample evidence of neglect. Yet they were NOT prosecuted. Again I say that Mr & Mrs Average would have had their kids taken and a prosecution for neglect started within the hour when police had learned that they had, repeatedly left a baby and toddlers unattended, alone in a hotel apartment where they had no line of sight to the door. Remember, a mother was prosecuted successfully for BEING AT HOME with her child who managed to unlock a door while sleeping and yet the McCanns weren’t on or near the premises they were eating and drinking down the street where they, obviously, had no idea what was happening to their children.

    So, on the one hand, as a father, I’m sympathetic. On the other hand, they were treated with kid gloves and let off with criminally neglecting their children. And, as a father who has lost a young child THAT makes me angry, very angry…

  • Juanda Harper

    Let us not forget that there was a swimming pool in between the tapas9 and their children. I would have been scared to death that one of them might have come out searching and drowned.

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