Madeleine McCann

The British Government Involvement in the case of Madeleine McCann
(NOTE: This is a work in progress - more information to follow.)

Unnamed British Diplomat:
  • Sent a report to the Foreign Office in London - worried about "confused declarations" of the McCanns' movements on the night of May 3 and lack of cooperation with the Portuguese police. 
  • Referred to instructions given to him to provide "all possible assistance to the McCann couple". 
  • QUOTE: "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."
Majority of the diplomats originally involved in case were taken off.

Sheree Dodd
  • Media liaison officer immediately sent by Tony Blair. 
  • Resigned from Foreign Office

Bill Henderson
  • British consul in the Algarve. 
  • Retired.

John Buck
  • British ambassador in Portugal. 
  • Replaced.

British Cabinet Office and Foreign Secretary

Tony Blair
  • British Prime Minister at time of disappearance
  • Immediately sent Sheree Dodd (British Foreign Office) as "media liaison officer"
Gordon Brown
  • British Prime Minister (Current)
  • Direct contact with McCanns and (prior to becoming Prime Minister) promised to help in any way he could 
  • Spoke to Gerry McCann privately "several times". 
  • Met with other McCann family members. 
  • Allegedly broke off contact with McCanns after they were made arguidos, however, the appointment of Clarence Mitchell former director of the Media Monitoring Unit at the Cabinet Office to the case apparently allowed information to continue to flow back and forth (see quote:) 
  •  QUOTE: A McCann family source said: “Mitchell still has the key phone numbers and e-mail addresses of people in power and will continue to use them. He has attended top-level briefings at No 10 every weekday for the past two years...” (SOURCE
  • Met with Portuguese Prime Minister José Sócrates to discuss the case - at the very minimum two times - July and October of 2007.

Jacqui Smith
  • British Home Secretary
  • In late January 2008, Portuguese police accused Smith of stalling the Madeleine McCann investigation because the Home Office had failed to respond to a list of demands sent almost a month previous.
  • Investigators sent a formal letter of appeal to Whitehall on January 7, 2008 asking that the seven friends who dined with Kate and Gerry McCann on the night of May 3 should face fresh police interrogations. British police could not carry out the interviews on behalf of their Portuguese counterparts until the request was rubber-stamped by the Home Secretary.

David Miliband
  • British Foreign Secretary
  • Spoke privately with Gerry McCann at least two times. 
  • Contacted the McCanns by telephone in July (when he had been "in the job" for less than a week.) 
  • He initiated telephone contact with them again in Sept 2007.

Spanish newspaper El Mundo allegedly told by the lawyer of one of the Tapas 9 that his client wanted "'reveal the whole truth' about the case but was frightened of the couple's political allies. (SOURCE)

Justice Hogg
  • Sister of Douglas Hogg, QC. who made a statement in the House of Commons about some solicitors being unduly sympathetic to the IRA. Many believe it to have been part of a plan by the British to murder Irish lawyer Pat Finucane. Irish nationalists continue to demand investigation into whether the Finucane murder was done by the British government in collusion with Loyalist paramilitaries. 
  • Refused to order McCanns to return to Portugal as requested by Portuguese police.
  • QUOTE: "The judge's unequivocal support for the McCanns is likely to attract criticism in Portugal, where there has been resentment over perceived interference in the case by the British government." (SOURCE)

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