Scotland Yard is to take a fresh look at the evidence in the case of missing Madeleine McCann. The move comes after Kate and Gerry McCann made an impassioned appeal for David Cameron to help them revive the search for their daughter, who vanished Portugal in 2007 shortly before her fourth birthday. The Prime Minister wrote to the McCanns to pledge action, having met the couple 18 months ago while opposition leader.
Home Secretary Theresa May said the Metropolitan Police would use its “particular expertise” to review the case and that the Home Office would provide “the necessary financial support”.
In a letter published in the Sun, Mr Cameron said: “I have asked the Home Secretary to look into what more the Government could do to help find Madeleine. She will be writing to you today, setting out new action involving the Metropolitan Police Service which we hope will boost efforts in the search for Madeleine.”
He told the couple: “Your ordeal is every parent’s worst nightmare and my heart goes out to you both. I simply cannot imagine the pain you must have experienced over these four agonising years, and the strength and determination you have both shown throughout is remarkable.”
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.
Former home secretary Alan Johnson commissioned a scoping exercise by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (Ceop) centre to look at the feasibility of carrying out a review of the case. This was completed in March last year, but Mrs May refused to let the McCanns see it because it was “sensitive”, Mr McCann said during a press conference.
Later, in a statement, the couple welcomed the “review” and thanked the Government for committing such a significant resource as the Met to the search for their daughter. “We welcome the Government’s response,” they said. “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.”