see also Wikipedia →Response_to_the_disappearance_of_Madeleine_McCann
“The Portuguese Ambassador in London, António Santana Carlos said on 8 May 2007 that the case was of ”great concern“ to Portugal and asked people to trust the police, amidst growing criticism of their handling of the case. President →Aníbal Cavaco Silva announced on 9 May that he was following the case ”with great concern“, adding that the police were “doing everything to find the child alive.” On 9 May, Tony Blair's spokesperson said that the then Prime Minister was following the case closely and that ”we are helping in whatever way we can“. On 16 May, coinciding with the launch of the fighting fund, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown delivered a similar message to relatives of Madeleine. Former Deputy Prime Minister →John Prescott also commented on the case, saying at Prime Minister's Question Time ”I'm sure that the thoughts of the whole House will be with them at this terrible time.“ On 26 May, a spokesman for the McCann family confirmed that Gordon Brown had telephoned the McCanns. Though the spokesman stated that the details of the conversations would remain private, he did confirm that ”During them, Mr Brown offered both Gerry and Kate his full support in their efforts to find Madeleine.“ In late September Foreign Secretary →David Miliband telephoned Gerry. The German Justice Minister, →Brigitte Zypries, said at a meeting of G8 justice ministers in Munich on 3 June, that it should be assumed that Madeleine had been abducted by a gang that passes on children to be abused. But the Portuguese prime minister, José Sócrates, praised investigators in September 2007, following criticism in the British media of the police handling of the case. Sócrates said that he had total confidence in the work carried out by the Portuguese police.”
A diplomatic email on 28 Sept. 2007 →The Guardian: US embassy cables: British police 'developed evidence' against McCanns, Washington told mentiones: “5. (C) Madeleine McCann's disappearance in the south of Portugal in May 2007 has generated international media attention with controversy surrounding the Portuguese-led police investigation and the actions of Madeleine's parents. Without delving into the details of the case, Ellis admitted that the British police had developed the current evidence against the McCann parents, and he stressed that authorities from both countries were working cooperatively. He commented that the media frenzy was to be expected and was acceptable as long as government officials keep their comments behind closed doors.”
03 Dec. 2007 the Express published an article about the McCanns:
A British diplomat warned the Foreign Office of concerns regarding Madeleine McCann’s parents, it emerged last night. Doubts about Kate and Gerry McCann were raised almost immediately by an official sent to Praia da Luz due to what he considered to be “inconsistencies” in the couple’s testimonies about the night the four-year-old vanished. The warning was contained in a classified document sent from the Algarve to the Foreign Office days after Madeleine’s disappearance. Details of the letter have been leaked through the British diplomatic mission in Brussels to the respected Belgian newspaper Derniere Heure. The unnamed diplomat voices his concern about the “confused declarations” as to the whereabouts of Kate and Gerry McCann and their friends in the final hours before Madeleine’s disappearance. He also mentions the couple’s “lack of co-operation” with the Portuguese police in the light of instructions from London suggesting consular staff “overstretch their authority and put pressure on the Portuguese authorities”. The document also asks for confirmation of orders sent by the Foreign Office in London the day before, commanding embassy staff to give “all possible assistance to the McCann couple”. Diplomats on the Algarve were told the McCanns had to be “accompanied at all times during any contact with the Portuguese police” by a member of consular staff or by British police officers sent out from the UK. The letter, sent just days after Madeleine disappeared, warns of the risks of siding with the McCanns so completely. Excerpts published in a report by La Derniere Heure quote the diplomat as saying: “With the greatest respect, I would like to make you aware of the risks and implications to our relationship with the Portuguese authorities, if you consider the possible involvement of the couple. Please confirm to me, in the light of these concerns, that we want to continue to be closely involved in the case as was requested in your previous message.” A huge team of diplomats have been involved in the case since Gerry McCann asked the Foreign Office for help. In an unprecedented move, the then Prime Minister Tony Blair despatched special envoy Sheree Dodd, a former Fleet Street journalist, to Portugal to act as a “media liaison officer” for the McCann family. Direct government communications with the McCanns came to an abrupt halt, however, when the couple were made official suspects in the case in September. Portuguese detectives believe it is possible Madeleine died as the result of an accident on May 3 in the family’s holiday apartment and that her parents hid and later disposed of her body with the help of their friends. The couple have always said they had nothing to do with their daughter’s disappearance. The Belgian report says it is highly significant that almost all of the diplomats involved at the outset have now been taken off the case. Special envoy Sheree Dodd has since resigned from the Foreign Office, the British consul in the Algarve Bill Henderson has retired and the British ambassador to Portugal John Buck is no longer in Portugal. Last night the Foreign Office refused to comment on the report.
see also →Abuse of power Blog:
It was Tony Blair and Gordon Brown who were behind the instructions given to the UK ambassador, John Buck, and to the British consul, Bill Henderson (the two senior UK diplomats in Portugal at the time she disappeared), to make sure Gerry and Kate McCann were given all possible assistance. A few minutes after the return to Faro of the team of experts that the PJ had sent to Leicester, Her Majesty's British Ambassador, John Buck, to the Portuguese Republic was already visiting their premises. The presence of the diplomat, that has been confirmed by several journalist, is in direct relation with the Madeleine McCann case and was not asked by the Portuguese Authorities. The ambassador has stayed half an hour with the police. John Buck - British Ambassador in Portugal in May 2006 - resigns his post on 10/09/07 - shortly after the McCanns are made suspects. John is replaced by Alexander Ellis. Leaves the Diplomatic Services entirely.
“In October 2007 the complainant asked the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for information concerning communications between the then Ambassador to Portugal John Buck and the Portuguese police on the subject of the disappearance of the child Madeleine McCann. FCO told the Commissioner that a family member had made clear to FCO staff that all comments made by that individual [John Buck] to FCO had been made in strict confidence and were not intended for disclosure to third parties. FCO did not approach the family member again during the Commissioner’s investigation but told the Commissioner that they were confident the individual would not appreciate being contacted regarding disclosure of the relevant personal information, a position the Commissioner accepted.”
Remark: This is another disturbing denial of Freedom of Information Act
See also →Esther McVey (Wikipedia)
The Text from 9-May-2007 reads: “Ester McVey, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate: A petition has started today to lobby the British and Portuguese Governments for gretaer transparency into the investigations and to push for a dual investigation between the Portuguese and British Authorities.”
McCannFiles: →Esther McVey is a long-time friend of Kate McCann and was spokesperson for Madeleine's Fund from its launch in May 2007. Esther and Kate first met in 1986, when they were both 18, at the North East Technical College in West Derby [in Liverpool], where they were studying A-levels together. She joined the board of Madeleine's Fund on 20 June 2007 and continued her role as spokesperson for the Fund until her resignation, announced in January 2008. Ms McVey has remained resolutely tight-lipped as to the reason, or reasons, behind her resignation - a rather ironic position, considering her former roles in the media/PR. She is currently the Conservative MP for Wirral West and the minister for disabled people. Her own website, on which she once displayed an online petition in support of the McCanns, now contains no mention of Madeleine McCann at all.