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Madeleine's mother welcomes report

Madeleine McCann's mother Kate has said she hopes the Leveson report will mark the start of a new era for the press and urged Prime Minister David Cameron to "embrace the report and act swiftly".

Mrs McCann, whose daughter went missing when the family was on holiday in Portugal in 2007, gave moving evidence during the Leveson Inquiry about her experience at the hands of the media, and was at the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre in Westminster for the publication of the report.

She said: "I welcome Lord (Justice) Leveson's report and hope it will mark the start of a new era for our press in which it treats those in the news responsibly, with care and consideration."

Mrs McCann went on: "Needless to say, more time will be needed to read, digest and understand all the implications of the report but initial impressions are positive. I hope the Prime Minister, and all the party leaders, will embrace the report and act swiftly to ensure activation of Lord (Justice) Leveson's recommendations within an acceptable and clearly defined time-scale.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Lord (Justice) Leveson and the legal team for their colossal efforts throughout the inquiry to date. I truly hope it will lead to an historic and, more importantly, crucial achievement for all in our society."

Giving evidence to the inquiry last November, Mrs McCann said she felt like "climbing into a hole and not coming out" when the News of the World printed her intensely personal diary, which she began after Madeleine disappeared. "I felt totally violated. I had written these words at the most desperate time of my life, and it was my only way of communicating with Madeleine."

The diary, which was so private Mrs McCann did not even show it to her husband Gerry, was published in the News of the World on Sunday September 14 2008. The newspaper later apologised.

Mr McCann said his wife felt "mentally raped" by the News of the World's publication of the journal under the headline: "Kate's diary: in her own words."

The report described how the McCanns, although originally given favourable coverage in the media, were treated like a commodity, in a similar way to Milly Dowler's parents.

It added: "If ever there were an example of a story which ran totally out of control, this is one. The appetite for 'news' became insatiable, and once the original story had run its course the desire to find new leads and 'angles' began to take over, with their corollary tendencies of sensationalism and scandal. Not merely was the rigorous search for the truth the first principle to be sacrificed but also was any respect for the dignity, privacy and wellbeing of the McCanns."


From Belfast Telegraph