Fury mounts over slurs on Maddie's mum & dad

21 March 2008
Liverpool Echo
Luke Traynor

Blast from media guru

CALLS were made today to boycott two national newspapers in the wake of their apologies to the parents of Madeleine McCann.

The Daily Express and Daily Star used their front pages earlier this week to say sorry to Kate and Gerry McCann for suggesting they caused their daughter's death.

Both papers also agreed to pay a substantial sum to the family's Find Madeleine's fund as part of the compensation.

But one respected national media columnist said the people of Liverpool should make their feelings known by no longer buying those newspapers.

Guardian journalist Roy Greenslade, former editor of The Mirror, suggested the idea on his blog.

Speaking to the ECHO, he said: "These papers carried out a lengthy campaign and treated the McCanns very shabbily. For a multi-millionaire to be told to pay £550,000 is not a great deal of money.

"There should be a boycott."

Madeleine, four, disappeared from her bed in a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, while her parents Kate and Gerry ate with friends at a nearby tapas restaurant on May 3.

The parents were regularly tarnished by inaccurate media reports which claimed they were involved in a plot to kidnap her.

Today, Susan Healy, Liverpool-born Kate's mother, said that the untrue stories had caused great hurt to the family and friends.

She added: "Kate is quite bitter about it as you'd expect. To see all those headlines again this week shocked me.

"It was a diabolical time." Nicky Gill, Kate's friend, said: "It's good that they've apologised, but so what? Madeleine is still missing.

"They money they've promised is totally irrelevant.

"There will be some people who will boycott it, but it's difficult to say what kind of impact this will have."

A spokesman for the Daily Express and Star said: "We have nothing to add to what has been said in court and in our titles."

Clarence Mitchell, the McCann's spokesman, said: "Kate and Gerry are pleased that the Express Newspapers apologised as fulsomely as they did.

"Immense distress was caused to the couple."

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