Victim ... Maddie went missing four years ago
McCanns' letter to
Dear Prime Minister
As a devoted father and family man, you know the importance
of children. Our beloved eldest child, Madeleine, was
abducted from Praia da Luz, Portugal, four years ago. Since
then, we have devoted all our energies to ensuring her safe
Today we are asking you - and the British and Portuguese
governments - to help find Madeleine and bring her back to
her loving family.
We live in hope that Madeleine will be found alive and
returned to us. One call might be all that is needed to lead
to Madeleine and her abductor.
To this end, we are seeking a joint INDEPENDENT,
TRANSPARENT and COMPREHENSIVE review of ALL
information held in relation to Madeleine's disappearance.
Thus far, there has been NO formal review of the
material held by the police authorities - which is routine
practice in most major unsolved crimes.
It is not right that a young vulnerable British citizen has
essentially been given up on. This remains an unsolved case
of a missing child. Children are our most precious gift.
Please don't give up on Madeleine.
Kate & Gerry McCann
By ANTONIO PINTO, Portuguese legal expert
I DO not think it is a bad thing if Madeleine's case is
reopened by other prosecutors and other investigators to
scrutinise for possible shortcomings in the existing
It seems reasonable to do so because it is very strange that
a girl is missing and that nothing is done. The problem for
the Portuguese police is that, as the law stands, it does
not provide for the re-opening of the case without new
But although there is no provision in the law, the law does
not outlaw it - so it would seem reasonable that this could
and Gerry McCann received a boost from PM David Cameron in their bid to
re-launch the search for their abducted daughter Madeleine.
couple called on the Prime Minister to press for a full independent and
transparent review by the Portuguese and British authorities into
made their plea in an open letter delivered to Number Ten Downing Street
on their behalf by The Sun last night.
Today Downing Street said the Government was looking at how it could
Prime Minister's spokesman said: "We are considering what they have said
and seeing if there is anything more we can do."
are thinking about what we can do to help."
Speaking at the launch of Kate's new book about the family's ordeal,
Gerry referred to the death of Mr Cameron's severely disabled
six-year-old son Ivan two years ago.
said: "Of course he's suffered his own loss, and I'm sure he is a loving
father, so he will understand what we've gone through."
he disclosed his frustration at the lack of progress since he and his
wife first asked for a full cold case review in 2009.
Gerry added: "We really have come to the end of our tether. We want to
see action from the Government, not rhetoric."
said: "When you're in a position such as the Prime Minister, you have a
responsibility. If you're not willing to work for a child, you have to
ask, 'who are you working for''"
the McCanns' moving letter they recognised Mr Cameron as a "devoted"
father and family man who knows the importance of children.
pleaded with the Prime Minister to help bring Madeleine back where she
belongs - to her loving family. After years of failed police
investigations and fruitless appeals to politicians for help, a proper
review of information could, the pair believe, provide the key to
finding their precious little girl.
Today is Madeleine's eighth birthday, but she has been missing for more
than four years since she was abducted from a Portuguese holiday
apartment in May, 2007.
Kate, 43, told The Sun yesterday: "I hope Mr Cameron will take
responsibility for one of his most vulnerable citizens.
"Madeleine is not disposable. She should not be dismissed and brushed
aside as 'just one child from just one family'.
"She's a British child, she's still missing, and she matters."
Sun today throws its weight behind the family's efforts with the start
of a petition, above, for readers to sign. It urges the British
and Portuguese authorities to co-operate and conduct an independent and
transparent review of all information in relation to the disappearance.
or email email@example.com
could be conducted by senior legal figures, criminologists and senior
police from each country, or even by international police organisation
Interpol, which hosts case reviews.
Kate, whose book Madeleine has been serialised all week in Britain's
favourite newspaper, added: "We're very grateful for this campaign push,
and especially to the general public who we are hoping will get behind
us in this.
need their help as our own efforts don't seem to be working. We don't
seem to be making any progress with the Government on our own."
added: "We hope David Cameron will show he cares about children - about
Madeleine, about one of his citizens, and demonstrates this not just
with words but with actions.
hope he and his Government will approach their counterparts in Portugal
and broach, with intent to achieve, our request for a review. And that
co-operation will be forthcoming - something I'd expect from belonging
to a European 'Union'."
original Portuguese police inquiry failed to find any trace of Madeleine
or her abductor - and, after initial assistance from British police, the
family have had little contact in the past year and are simply told:
"It's a Portuguese investigation."
fact, NO law enforcement agency is now actively searching for
Madeleine. The family's own investigators are still working, but they do
not have access to masses of material held by police authorities.
There has been no formal review of the inquiry - a process which could
unearth a key piece of the jigsaw.
McCanns' attempts to get political support for the search have so far
got nowhere. Ex-PM Gordon Brown was supportive and understanding when
Gerry spoke with him by phone in May, 2007 - but not much changed.
Plea ... Kate and Gerry issue call at press conference today
Meetings followed with a series of figures, including successive Home
Secretaries Jacqui Smith, Alan Johnson and Theresa May.
Early last year the McCanns were told a "scoping" exercise was being
carried out within the Home Office to assess the feasibility of an
independent review. But they were not told what conclusion it had
A family's joy ... Kate and Gerry are all smiles with
Madeleine as baby
Leicestershire Police, the McCanns' local force in Rothley, are the
liaison between the UK and the Portuguese authorities on the probe.
force holds detailed files from UK inquiries. Most have not been shown
to Kate and Gerry.
the couple are pinning their hopes on the Prime Minister.
Gerry, 42, said: "There has been no formal review of the material held
by the police authorities, which is routine practice in most countries
and especially when a key piece of the jigsaw may have been overlooked.
Plea ... Kate and Gerry McCann
need more of a co-ordinated response. A review could be crucial. One
call may be all we need to find Madeleine and whoever took her."
After The Sun delivered the McCanns' letter to No10 last night, the PM's
spokeswoman said: "The Prime Minister met Kate and Gerry McCann while
Leader of the Opposition, and he has followed their plight very closely.
"He and the Home Secretary want to make sure the Government does all it
can to help them."