| 6.1°C Belfast

David Cameron calls the Yard in quest to find little Maddy McCann

Close

Prime Minister David Cameron has answered the plea from  Madeleine McCann's parents

Prime Minister David Cameron has answered the plea from Madeleine McCann's parents

Everton FC

Photo issued by Everton Football Club of Madeleine McCann.

Photo issued by Everton Football Club of Madeleine McCann.

Everton FC

Still taken from undated Madeleine Fund handout video of Madeleine McCann

Still taken from undated Madeleine Fund handout video of Madeleine McCann

Police have been urged to hand over their files on missing Madeleine McCann

Police have been urged to hand over their files on missing Madeleine McCann

This illustration released Friday, May 1, 2009 by Harpo Productions Inc., shows a photo, left, and an age-progressed image, right, of Madeleine McCann, the British toddler who was 4 when she disappeared from a hotel room in Portugal on May 3, 2007. The age-progressed image, created by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, depicts what Madeleine may look like at age 6. Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann taped an interview with Oprah Winfrey on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in Chicago on April 24, 2009. The exclusive interview is scheduled to air in the United States on Monday, May 4 and in the United Kingdom on Tuesday, May 5. (AP Photo/Harpo Productions Inc., National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)  **NO SALES**

This illustration released Friday, May 1, 2009 by Harpo Productions Inc., shows a photo, left, and an age-progressed image, right, of Madeleine McCann, the British toddler who was 4 when she disappeared from a hotel room in Portugal on May 3, 2007. The age-progressed image, created by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, depicts what Madeleine may look like at age 6. Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann taped an interview with Oprah Winfrey on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in Chicago on April 24, 2009. The exclusive interview is scheduled to air in the United States on Monday, May 4 and in the United Kingdom on Tuesday, May 5. (AP Photo/Harpo Productions Inc., National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) **NO SALES**

The dramatic difference between the known picture of Madeleine McCann, aged 3, and how she may look now, two years later

The dramatic difference between the known picture of Madeleine McCann, aged 3, and how she may look now, two years later

Madeleine McCann

Madeleine McCann

Still taken from    video of Madeleine McCann

Still taken from video of Madeleine McCann

Still taken from    video of Madeleine McCann

Still taken from video of Madeleine McCann

Gerry McCann and his wife, Kate

Gerry McCann and his wife, Kate

Madeleine McCann

Madeleine McCann

Kate and Gerry McCann, parents of missing toddler Madeleine, walk to mass y  at their local Catholic church, the Sacred Heart in Rothley, England

Kate and Gerry McCann, parents of missing toddler Madeleine, walk to mass y at their local Catholic church, the Sacred Heart in Rothley, England

Roy Kilcullen

Madeleine McCann

Madeleine McCann

Madeleine McCann

Madeleine McCann

Kate and Gerry McCann as they give a statement at the Rothley Court Hotel, in Rothley, Leicestershire after they were formally cleared by the Portuguese authorities of involvement in their daughter Madeleine's disappearance .

Kate and Gerry McCann as they give a statement at the Rothley Court Hotel, in Rothley, Leicestershire after they were formally cleared by the Portuguese authorities of involvement in their daughter Madeleine's disappearance .

Madeleine McCann

Madeleine McCann

Maddy McCann

Maddy McCann

Kate and Gerry McCann, with twins Sean and Amelie, arrive at East Midlands airport, England

Kate and Gerry McCann, with twins Sean and Amelie, arrive at East Midlands airport, England

Bouchra Ahmed Ben Aissa, 3, is seen at her home in Zinat, northern Morocco, Wednesday, Sept, 26, 2007. Bouchra is thought to be the Moroccan girl who was photographed by a Spanish tourist in Zinat and who was suspected of being British missing toddler Madeleine McCann. Madeleine vanished from the Portuguese resort Praia da Luz on May 3, soon before her fourth birthday.

Bouchra Ahmed Ben Aissa, 3, is seen at her home in Zinat, northern Morocco, Wednesday, Sept, 26, 2007. Bouchra is thought to be the Moroccan girl who was photographed by a Spanish tourist in Zinat and who was suspected of being British missing toddler Madeleine McCann. Madeleine vanished from the Portuguese resort Praia da Luz on May 3, soon before her fourth birthday.

Madeleine McCann disappeared in Portugal in May 2007

Madeleine McCann disappeared in Portugal in May 2007

Madeleine McCann's parents Kate and Gerry

Madeleine McCann's parents Kate and Gerry

/

Prime Minister David Cameron has answered the plea from Madeleine McCann's parents

Scotland Yard will bring its “expertise” to bear on the search for missing Madeleine McCann, the Home Office has said.

The move comes after her parents Kate and Gerry made an impassioned appeal for David Cameron to help them revive the search for their missing daughter.

In a statement the McCanns welcomed the “review” and thanked the Government for committing such a significant resource as the Met to the search for their daughter.

They welcomed the Government's response as “clearly a step in the right direction”.

“The expertise of the Metropolitan Police is renowned and we are reassured by our Government's commitment to the search for Madeleine.

“We would like to thank Mr Cameron and the Home Secretary for committing such a significant resource as the Metropolitan Police to begin this review process.”

A Home Office spokesman said the Prime Minister and Home Secretary agreed with Sir Paul Stephenson that the Metropolitan Police would bring “its particular expertise” to this case.

The spokesman added that the Home Office will be providing “the necessary financial support”.

He went on: “The Government's primary concern has always been and remains the safe return of Madeleine.

“Although she disappeared in Portugal, and the Portuguese retain the lead responsibility in the case, law enforcement agencies here have continued to follow up leads and pass information to the Portuguese authorities.”

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “We can confirm that the Metropolitan Police Service has agreed, at the request of the Home Secretary, to bring its particular expertise to the Madeleine McCann case. The Portuguese authorities retain the lead and we are not prepared to discuss it further at this time.”

Earlier, Madeleine's parents had begged the Prime Minister to call his Portuguese counterpart to discuss launching a formal review of the police investigation into the little girl's disappearance in Portugal in 2007.

Speaking at the launch of Mrs McCann's book about their ordeal, they questioned ministers' commitment to finding Madeleine, who was eight yesterday. Mr McCann (42) said at a London Press conference: “We've met three separate home secretaries, and we're still not sure what the Government has actually done.

“The Prime Minister does have it in his power to pick up the phone and speak to his counterpart.”

Referring to the death of Mr Cameron's disabled son Ivan two years ago, he added: “I'm sure he is a loving father, so he will understand what we've gone through.”

The McCanns, from Rothley, Leicestershire, have written an open letter to Mr Cameron asking for an “independent” review of all information about Madeleine's disappearance.

They said: “A key piece of the 'jigsaw' could easily have been overlooked and not joined up with another. We have tried in vain to get the authorities in the UK and Portugal to play their part.

“But, sadly, our requests have seemingly fallen on deaf ears. It is simply not acceptable that they have, to all intents and purposes, given up on Madeleine.”

Mr McCann suggested that Mr Cameron should offer Portuguese caretaker prime minister Jose Socrates the services of the Metropolitan Police to review the investigation looking for unpursued lines of inquiry.

He added that he would be “delighted” if FBI officers could also form part of the cold case team.

Downing Street said the Government was looking at how it could assist the couple.

The Prime Minister's spokesman said: “We are considering what they have said and seeing if there is anything more we can do. We are thinking about what we can do to help.”

The couple hope that Mrs McCann's book, entitled simply Madeleine, will revive public support and boost their dwindling fund for private detectives to search for their daughter.

It was already a best-seller based on advance sales, having topped Amazon.co.uk's book chart for several days.

The 384-page book, which is dedicated to the McCanns' three children, Madeleine and six-year-old twins Sean and Amelie, includes intriguing insights into the couple's surreal existence in Portugal in the summer of 2007.

Mrs McCann discloses that Cherie Blair phoned her five days after Madeleine's disappearance and warned her: “Whatever happens, your life will never be the same again.”

She also recounts the occasion in July 2007 when the late broadcaster Sir Clement Freud, who had a house in Praia da Luz, invited the McCanns around for lunch and broke the ice by offering them a strawberry vodka.

The book is being translated into Portuguese, and Mr McCann said he hoped it would be widely read in Portugal to help clear up some long-standing cultural misunderstandings about how he and his wife acted.

Background

Portuguese detectives helped by British officers from Leicestershire Police carried out a massive investigation into Madeleine's disappearance from her family's holiday flat in Praia da Luz in the Algarve on May 3 2007.

But the official inquiry was formally shelved in July 2008 and since then no police force has been actively looking for the missing child.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required


Top Videos



Privacy