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The wonderful thing about tiggers
Is tiggers are wonderful things!
Their tops are made out of rubber
Their bottoms are made out of springs!
They're bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy
Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!
But the most wonderful thing about tiggers is ......
there is only one

We've all been bounced by tigger one way or another (like it or not, you can't change the stripes on a tigger's back) but nothing is closer to the heart of CMoMM member tigger than justice for Madeleine McCann.

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made" - Groucho Marx

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Post on 30.04.18 1:00 by Verdi

Wednesday, 23 December 2015


Starting with PR:

Hanover Website

We helped the McCann family deal with the media storm which surrounded them on their return from Portugal in September 2007. From scratch, we created a comprehensive media handling package within six hours which enabled us to handle 850 media calls in the first week. By giving journalists positive stories to report, coverage turned from hostility to the McCanns to sympathy about their ordeal. This campaign won the crisis communication category at the 2008 CIPR awards.)


‘Hanover calls time on McCanns’ November 21, 2007 by Hannah Marriott

Hanover Communications has stopped working with the McCann family. The agency said the move ‘reflects a decrease in international press interest’ following the six-month anniversary of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance.

Hanover, headed by MD Charles Lewington, was hired to run a UK press office two months ago (20 September 2007).
All media enquiries are now going through the family’s spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, a former BBC journalist.

Mitchell was temporarily appointed spokesman to the McCanns by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in May (PRWeek, 24 May 2007). Sheree Dodd and Justine McGuiness have also worked temporarily in the position.

Mitchell later quit his government position to lead the McCanns’ comms on a permanent basis.

Mitchell said: ‘Without the support of Hanover we simply would not have been able to cope with the level of international press interest.’ Unquote

And from:

Ten hours after being driven away from the police station in Portimao, Gerry and his family are boarding Easyjet flight EZY6552 [..] Although no formal bail conditions are imposed, the right to leave is set upon the condition that they return to Portugal for further questioning if necessary.

Hinting that they may not be true to their word, is the decision to retain the services of Michael Caplan Q.C [..] specializes in international law and represented the former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet when Spain tried to extradite him from the UK in 1999.

[..] On September 13th, a source close to the family is quoted saying: ‘We need to rectify the PR and the fightback needs to start and it needs to start now.’ The Guardian reveals that Phil Hall, the former editor of the News of the World, is on amongst a number of high-profile figures consulted by the McCanns, ‘with a view to managing the global interest in their case.’Hanover Communications – [..] begins handling calls.

The Daily Mirror for September 14th leads on 'KATE & GERRY... their story!', betwixt photographs of a seven-year old Kate at her first Holy Communion, and a bright-eyed Gerry in his football kit, former captain of Napier City Rovers FC. Gushing tributes are elicited from an impressively large array of family and friends: '... a beautiful, lovely, sensitive person' is how Dr Paul McIntyre describes Kate, one of the more restrained contributions. A former Napier City teammate calls Gerry 'a really nice bloke' who made 'a huge impression on the team.' When Madeleine was born, 'she was close to the perfect child... We have never seen Kate and Gerry as happy as they were that day.' (The last from 'friend Alan Grieves.') The September 17th edition leads on a smiling Kate McCann, and the headline: 'WE'LL BLOW THE POLICE CASE OUT OF THE WATER', one of several articles derogating the Portuguese investigation and casting doubt on the FSS results. In the Daily Mail, Alison Pearson describes as 'not just revolting... [but] surreal' the notion that Kate could have been responsible for Madeleine's death; to Dominic Lawson in The Independent, she is a victim of 'a peculiar kind of emotional tyranny... who has denied the mob its vicarious pleasure.' Jane Moore, columnist for The Sun, condemned the 'smoke and mirror tactics' of the Portuguese police, described as 'chronically inefficient' and 'under horrendous pressure to deliver' by the Mirror's Brian Reade.


I would also recommend For further insights in the methods of the press.

Despite all the above efforts we now find the Drs. McCann at the Leveson inquiry complaining about the press : (all quotes below are copied from the transcripts)

Just to note the fact that the McCanns were both sworn in:

2. Mr. Jay: The next witnesses are Dr. and Dr. McCann, please.

3. Dr. Gerald Patrick McCann and Dr. Kate Marie McCann (sworn)

Mr. Jay: ‘I know each of you would like your counsel to ask a few preliminary questions. Before he does so formally, can I invite you to confirm the contents of your respective witness statements. You, Dr. Geral d McCann, there’s a statement dated 30 October and there’s a statement of truth at the end of it, it that correct?

Mr. McCann: ‘It is’.

Mr. Jay: And then Dr. Kate McCann, a far more recent statement referring to your husband’s statement and again with a statement of truth dated 22 November; is that right?

Mrs. McCann: ‘That’s right.’

Questions to Mr. McCann:

Q: You tell us in your witness statement that a photograph was made immediately available, provided to the broadcast media and to the press, and was as it were, displayed everywhere. Is that correct?

A: There’s two elements to that. The first element was what we were doing on the night and obviously we had digital cameras and we were trying to get photographs printed of Madeleine from the holiday.

Q: Yes

A: To give to the police, but secondly, a very good friend of ours who we spoke to in the early hours of 4 May took upon himself to issue photographs of Madeleine to all the major media outlets in the UK. unquote

Between 02.53 and 06.59 on the 4th of May some 25 calls are logged to and from Jon Corner, the good friend who ‘took it upon himself to issue photographs of Madeleine to all the major media outlets’. One may surely expect that the decision taken to alert all the news channels was discussed during these calls, which incidentally, were all made to and from Kate’s mobile.

It is also a fact that only one camera was mentioned in earlier statements and not a single holiday photograph of Madeleine – if they existed at all - was used, instead a picture of Madeleine as a toddler aged little more than two years old was handed to the Policia Judiciare.

(See for questions regarding holiday photos The First Photo and the Socratic questioning of the Last Photo).

Q: You deal with two further matters, perhaps less serious than this, because what you’ve told us of course is a plain breach of the code, that we may come to in due course.
There was a photograph of you, Dr. Gerald McCann, on the golf course, which obviously is a private place, and then the distortion of photographs of you, Dr. Kate McCann, to present, o doubt, a certain image. Often coupled with the adjectives ‘frail’ or ‘fragile’, which you’ve told us about. In terms of the effect on you, you described it and of course it will be obvious to us, but looking more broadly, the effect on the continuing investigation, which after all is your primary focus then, as it is now, are you able to quantify that for us and describe it?

Mr. McCann:

A: Well, I think from – reputational aspects aside, the distress that was caused to us was the clear message that was going out nationally throughout Europe and internationally was that there was very strong evidence that our daughter was dead and that we were somehow implicated in her disappearance, and we knew that if people believed that, then there couldn’t be a meaningful search, and it was incredible. And any aspects of campaigning for a search with what happened to us and how it was portrayed in the media meant we were completely hamstrung in our ability to counter anything.

Mrs. McCann:

These were desperate times. You know, we were having to try and find our daughter ourselves. We needed all the help we could get, and we were faced with – I know we’ll come on to headlines, but ‘Corpse in the car’, I don’t know how many times I read ‘Body fluids in the car’, And it gets repeated that often, it becomes fact. There were no body fluids.

This needs very little comment other than to point out that the blood dog, which had a record of 100% correct alerts in all cases in which she had been deployed, alerted to blood. The body fluids found were so degenerated that it was not possible to determine whether it was blood or another bodily fluid. Quite simple. There were body fluids in the car, Mrs. M.

From: PJ files - 17- Processo 17 Pages 4592 to 4649

In that sense, forensic examinations were performed in the areas and on the objects that were marked and signalled by the blood dog[..], that is to say that cellular material was collected, which was nevertheless not identified as belonging to a specific person, and it was not even possible to establish said material's quality (namely if it could be blood or another type of bodily fluid).

Q: You tell us in your statement a series of steps which were taken to try and abate this flood. Can I try and summarise it in this way? First of all, a meeting is organized with the editors of the major UK tabloid newspapers. That’s in September 2007, when a clear message was put out to them, and you tell us that had a transient effect. It’s paragraph 53 of your witness statement.

A: (Mr.McCann) Sure. I think there’s two elements. Within the first week of being back, we had appointed solicitors, Kingsley Napley, and Angus McBride, who is one of the solicitors who represented us at that time, he thought it was very important that he would – we should try and modify the content of the press articles, and he went with Justine McGuinness, who was campaign manager at that point, and met with all the editors from the major newspapers and emphasized to them that it was his strong belief that there was no evidence to support what they were reporting. But it seemed to have very little effect.

In fact I think Kingsley Napley then pressurized Leicestershire police to write to the broadcasters and editors and there’s a letter from Matt Baggott, who was Chief Constable at that time, urging restraint and saying there was very inaccurate reporting.

We organized another round of meetings with Angus and Clarence, who then came back to work for us later on in September 2007, and that was followed up with another leter from the Chief Constable, I think on 17 October.

I do feel that calling Kingsley Napley solicitors is a little misleading.Seeing that a senior partner - a Q.C who had managed to keep an erstwhile dictator from being extradited to Spain, Michael Caplan, had been retained by the McCanns. It is also of interest to know that the Portuguese lawyer employed by the McCanns is not a specialist in civil litigation but rather in criminal process, and the McCanns retained his services a mere week before they were made arguidos.


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Post on 13.05.18 0:24 by Verdi

Sunday, 9 August 2015


This blog is honoured to post this report by Socrates - a most distinguished guest!

The Last Photo - revisited

Kate states that the Last Photo, of Gerry, Amelie, and Madeleine sitting by the children’s pool, was taken, by her, on Thursday 3rd May 2007

“We then sat round the toddler pool for a while, dipping our feet in, and I took what has turned out to be my last photograph to date of Madeleine.”

The time in the EXIF metadata is shown as 13:29, but the McCanns were at great pains to point out that this time was one hour wrong, and it was actually taken at 14:29

Date/Time Original 2007:05:03 13:29:51+01:00

The photo shows Gerry , wearing sunglasses, T shirt and shorts, with a slight sheen of perspiration across his forehead, the children in sun hats, which are casting shadows, there are clear shadows cast by the tree, and by the sun beds.

The edges of the shadows are sharp, indicating bright sun.

However, the weather records for Thursday 3rd May 2007 in Praia da Luz tell a totally different story.

At 1pm the temperature was 17º C,  (62ºF)  This is relatively cold.
At 2pm the temperature had risen to 18ºC (64ºF)    Again not hot enough for sweat to break out on the brow of a man wearing nothing more than a thin cotton T shirt and shorts.

Across the top of the figure is a grey bar which indicates the cloud cover.
At 1pm and 2pm it is shown as 50%

By 4:30pm it was 90% so we may deduce that at lunchtime there may have been cloud cover somewhat greater than 50% and increasing as the afternoon progressed.

It also shows TWO separate cloud layers, one at 540m which then rises to 740m,  and a higher one at 2700m

The record for the entire holiday week is even more instructive.

Here we see a clear pattern of the temperature falling and the cloud cover increasing between Sunday evening 29 April, and the following Friday morning 4 May

When we consider the Last Photo we must ask the following questions.
What do we SEE
What do we KNOW
and then
What can we DEDUCE ?

We see
Shadows have sharp outlines
Shadows more or less vertical
Bright reflection from human skin
Bright reflection from objects
Sheen of perspiration on Gerry's forehead
Children in very light dress
Children in sun hats
Gerry wearing very dark sunglasses
Gerry wearing T shirt and shorts
Bright and sharp reflection in sunglasses
Father and children with feet in the water

We know
The pool was very cold - all week
Weather for the rest of the week was cold and cloudy

What do we deduce ?
The photo was taken on a pleasantly warm or even a hot day.
It was taken when the sun was more or less overhead. Solar Zenith was at 13:29 for the days in question.  Therefore, in layman’s terms the sun was overhead between 12:30 and 2:30 pm
There were no low clouds and there was no high overcast

But surely wind speed and direction depend on other factors,  buildings, vegetation . .

You make a very valid point.

Wind speed IS measured about 3m from the ground, and in  an open area, for the obvious reasons that you give. The ground has a frictional resistance, there are walls, buildings, street furniture, and then hedges and trees, all of which will act to slow the apparent speed at human level
The wind speed and direction at lunchtime is given as 7.2 m/s, of a stiff breeze, Force 4, and the direction approximately WSW, or bearing 250

On the map it is coming in along the red line

In fact this is across a large patch of waste land, tennis courts and then the very low wall by the Tennis courts in the Ocean club, which are protected only by chain link fencing.  The vegetation, although there is some, is low.

As we can see there is not much of a barrier to reduce the force of the wind.

And I suppose that even reducing Force 4 would only bring it down to Force 3

well exactly and if we look again at Madeleine’s very fine hair falling across her face, and her floppy little sun hat, we are entitled to ask whether they were sitting in any wind at all.  

But if I may digress slightly, this raises another very interesting point,

Let is stick with the issue of wind force and direction .. .

Later that evening, around 10pm Kate tells us what happened when she entered the apartment.

Her first statement said the curtains were wide open,  
[Quote]and immediately noticed that the door to her children's bedroom was completely open, the window was also open, the shutters raised and the curtains open, while she was certain of having closed them all as she always did.”

but later we have seen repeated interviews, and read in the autobiography, which say they were tight closed.  

but I just noticed that the door, the bedroom door where the three children were sleeping, was open much further than we’d left it.
I went to close it to about here, and then as I got to here, it suddenly . . . slammed, . . . . and literally as I went back in, the curtains of the bedroom which were drawn, [demonstrates with both forearms together]  that were closed, “wheesh’  like a gust of wind kind of blew them open.

[extract from book] p. 71 “Then I noticed that the door to the children’s bedroom was open quite wide, not how we had left it. At first I assumed that Matt must have moved it.  I walked over and gently began to pull it to. Suddenly it slammed shut, as if caught by a draught.”

She says the door slammed even though she was holding it, and when she pushed it open again another gust “whooshed” the  curtains into the room.

By 10pm the wind had died down, and was 4 m/s, Force 2, bordering on the low end of Force 3. It has also veered to WNW, or bearing 290.

Assuming the window was open, it is only 1 m x 0.5 m, so half a square meter.  The door is 2 m x 0.75 m so one and a half square metres.  

so any wind pressure entering the room is effectively dissipated over three times the area,
Now let us look at photos of the area outside the bedroom window.

What we see is a small car park lined with thick and high trees, a substantial wall, and then another wall just outside the window of the apartment
So the argument which says the effective speed and power of the wind is reduced by vegetation, walls, street furniture, cars and other obstacles applied here with even greater force.

This apartment window was by any standards very well sheltered

And from that we then have to imagine what wind power or force would be necessary to tear through all that barrier - and remember the wind is coming in at an angle across that road, across other areas with high buildings and thick vegetation, it is the purple line on this map

and the wind still has to have the force to get in through a small open window, and then slam a door being held by an adult, and on the second occasion to pull full length curtains from where they were jammed between the bed and the wall, or jammed behind the wicker chair, against the wall, so that they can “Whoosh”

And that wind force,  would then one assumes also hit the Tapas bar around the same time, and we remember that the bar was encased in about 40 square metres of clear tarpaulin.   Yet not a single guest or member of staff reports what would have been a deafening sound as those two gusts hit.
The Weather reports from Faro Airport are similarly silent on the point.

So it has been an interesting excursion, driven by responding to reasoned arguments that the wind conditions might have permitted the Last Photo to have been taken on Thursday 3rd, but leading not only to a serious suspicion, on those grounds alone that it could not have been, but also to some serious doubts about the slamming door and whooshing curtain story.

There just does not seem to be enough evidence to substantiate either,

as with so much else in this continuing Mystery

What is even more interesting is to note that the McCanns’ entire story involving the Last Photo, and flapping curtains depends on flat calm and hot at lunchtime, and high wind at bedtime.
The facts are

Posted by tigger at 04:00

See blog for charts etc.

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Post on 03.08.18 1:12 by Verdi

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

CUDDLE CAT and Cuddlecat

Going through old files it occurred to me that Cuddle Cat had quite a lot to say but it seems to have been lost in the ocean of information.  So back to the beginning:
Trade mark: Filing date for Madeleine’s Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned
Case details for Trade Mark 2456061 – Intellectual Property Office
Status: Registered.
Filing date: 18 May 2007

Day 26 / 29/05/2007
4th Official website registered as :  linked to: (registered on 26/5)  (registered on 23/5) linked to
Cuddlecat’s  provenance is  unknown. It has been suggested that it was a toy made by  , however, although this firm does produce similar items  it appears to be a US firm and the toys were selling for  $ 39.99 which seems a little steep. As far as I know, an exact copy of this toy has not been seen on sale in the UK.  
If it was made by an established firm it does  not explain why the McCanns registered two websites  for a toy brand which they did not own. The sites were still active (cyber squatted) in 2012, I believe they are now defunct.
A close friend of the family however, Jon Corner,  had a company called Keekoscene which  I believe produced  toys and other items for children. This firm was dissolved on 5th June 2007.
­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Testimonies to the importance of Cuddlecat:
David Smith TIMESONLINE  16 December 2007: (random comma’s are DS..)
‘Gerry paused over Madeleine, who – a typical doctor’s observation, this – was lying almost in ‘the recovery position’with Cuddle Cat, the toy her godfather, John Corner had bought her, and her comfort blanket up near her head, and Gerry thought how gorgeous, how lovely-looking she was and how lucky he was.’
KH1: ‘madeleine’: Page 147, Chapter 10.
On Sunday 20 May, Gerry left for the UK. […] In the end he spent both nights with friends [..] I was fine, too. Trish and Sandy were there and I had Amelie and Sean. And Cuddle Cat
Chapter six (the first time they were to face the press)
..So Gerry sat down and drafted a statement on a piece of scrap paper. [..] I accompanied him downstairs. As we left I grabbed Madeleine’s Cuddle Cat. Keeping her beloved toy close was the nearest I could be to her.  (Which means she did not hold on to CC indoors, but he had to make a press appearance – may be pushing it a bit but read on..)
Goncalo Amaral:  The Truth of the Lie:
These first observations are not the only ones that lead us to consider a set-up. The way the bed sheets were arranged but also the child’s soft  toy equally raise doubts. [..]
-          And the soft toy she slept with? That’s not in a natural position either. How would she have found it, along the pillows like that? [..]
-          Which means that the little girl slept without holding it? Children normally clutch their security object to fall asleep.
David Smith from Timesonline:
Jon Corner on Cuddle Cat and DNA, 09 September 2007
Jon Corner, a godfather of one of the McCanns’ children, said: “The Cuddle Cat was reeking with Madeleine’s DNA. That easily explains why DNA has been found in the hire car and on clothing that Kate bought after Madeleine disappeared.”

Right we got all that – from the pictures as well, including some of Kate all alone with CC, many of the innocent young mother with Cuddlecat  including one of CC peeking out of the top of her rucksack. Shame they didn’t take it to Rome to be blessed by the Pope.
Enter the dogs.
The cadaver dog reacted to Cuddlecat  but not to the bed or the mattress on which it had rested. Cadaverine contaminates textiles very quickly. I came across an old exchange with Monkeymind – who as an ex-policeman should know what he’s talking about.
If  the bed was clean according to Eddie, then Cuddlecat was also clean on the night of the 3rd of May 2007. Therefore the contamination must have occurred at a later date. Remember that the blanket disappeared as well and had left no trace of cadaverine on the bedding either.
Fibres (probably of the blanket) were however found in the barn some 25 km distant from PdL and the same fibres were found in the car. G. Amaral has stated in an interview that when the blanket is found the case is solved. I think the suggestion is that she was buried in the blanket or had been wrapped in it at one stage. Which must also have been after 3/5.
Now the check trousers Kate wore must be the clothing that Jon Corner referred to. If she bought those in Portugal after 3/5 – which may be true, logic then dictates that the kitchen photo is fake – having been taken some months earlier.
But it gets more interesting. Kate wore jeans to travel in. Had any of her clothing been contaminated by six corpses, all her clothes would have been contaminated in the suitcase. But Eddie only alerted to trousers, t-shirt and Cuddle Cat. Blanket and CC were not contaminated on the night of the 3rd. Kate’s clothing must have been contaminated after arrival in PdL.
Washington Post:  7/9/2007
Two British Newspapers on Saturday reported that a dog trained to sniff out corpses reacted strongly to Kate McCann’s clothing and to Madeleine’s favorite toy, a pink “Cuddle Cat”that Kate McCann now carries with her regularly.
Various media reports said Kate McCann, a general practitioner, told investigators that she had come into contact with six dead bodies shortly before her one-week family holiday to Portugal.’
Cuddle Cat found!
I found Cuddlecat again when a search brought me to:
A company run by Tara Gold – married to Stuart Gold, both on holiday with the McCanns in Mallorca in 2005.
Cuddlecat was there – I was overjoyed to find him after a long search. However, I was posting on the Fund at the time and wrote that the charities listed on the website erroneously  included complete with the charity number. This turned out the company registration number as one might expect.  
Within days – well done TM MMU – not only had the listing of the site under charities been changed but Cuddlecat had once again disappeared. Forever this time.
However, it seems clear that he was never alone, indeed,  some forty  cuddlecats  were hard at work: Daily Mail: 25 January 2008
Método 3, whose contract expires in March, has 40 investigators working on the case, here and in Portugal and Spain.
Each has a replica of Cuddle Cat, Madeleine's favourite toy, which they are encouraged to squeeze when they feel demotivated at the size of their task.Unquote
Two websites dedicated to cuddlecat. 

A close friend connected to a company Keekoscene and the toy.

Cuddle Cat promoted from day one.

Forty Cuddle Cats given to Metodo 3.

Cuddle Cats appearing for sale some years later on website on friend of McCanns which lists amongst charities who will benefit from sales the Ltd.Co Both wrong information and Cuddle Cat disappear. This time forever it seems.

One could almost think that a stock of Cuddlecats were ready to be sold on, if not before the 3rdof May 2007.

What may have happened is that the 50 million hits on the Madeleine  website made Cuddlecat redundant before he was launched. Or that Clarence had a moment of sanity and prevented the launch just as he did when he prevented Gerry organising a photo opportunity of Kate in a swimsuit. 

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Jill Havern

Post on 11.08.18 13:43 by Jill Havern

Posted by 'tigger'

Between the 4th and the 9th of May 2007 the troops available to the McCanns were:

11 members of family and friends
Craigh Mayhew, MW operations director.
The Consul and Pro Consul
The British Ambassador
Alan Pike – trauma psychologist and assistant
Alex Woolfall, PR Head of crisis management
3 Leicester Police Officers
2 Criminal Behaviour Experts from CEOP
Sheree Dodd from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Phonecall from Cherie Blair, and one from Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett.

The above are just the advance troops although Sheree Dodd soon returned to London amid reports that she did not accept the McCanns’claim that Madeleine had been abducted.

In any case, experts in various fields who would not normally have been involved in such a case and certainly not that early in the proceedings. Consular assistance is normal, Mark Warner getting their PR expert in is understandable, but only if he was working to promote Mark Warner and not the McCanns. For why would the victims of a crime need PR?
A trauma unit is par for the course these days so that is not out of the ordinary.

So right from the start we have two Foreign Office officials working for the McCanns, these people do not act on their own, they are instructed by the Foreign Office. Who do not in general send out the troops in such numbers without being told to do so - and such commands come from 'above' so to speak.


20th May: Gerry returns to the UK , he appears not to have seen any family, gets photographed in Rothley amongst yellow ribbons.

22nd May: Gerry returns with Clarence Mitchell – lent to him by the F.O.

24th May Last photo released to the world’s Press.

24th May – the day Missing People launched  with ‘A New Yellow Ribbon  Symbol ‘ a large scale projection on Marble Arch.

24th May – The McCanns  make a pilgrimage to Fatima. The  DT reports:  ‘The McCanns are launching a series of trips across Europe to help widen the search [..] the couple, both devout Catholics, started their ‘mission’yesterday in Fatima. ‘


Missing Persons – changed to Missing People on May 24th. The event is alleged to have been instigated at the behest of the European Commission, spearheaded by former EC Vice-President and self-appointed ‘Guardian Angel of Children’, Franco Frattini. The event was attended by John McCann. 

Franco Frattini wanted Blair for European Council President  as he  repeated in a speech some two years later.

Although Gerry returned to Rothley to ‘trawl through four years of family albums – to select new pictures of her he comes back with a picture allegedly taken on the day she disappeared – the pool picture.
He also comes back with  the head of the Media Monitoring Unit, who controls what comes out in the news – a job description given to us by the man himself: Clarence Mitchell.

One may conclude: Foreign Office and possibly soon to be ex-PM Blair seem somewhat involved, so too is the European Commission who are promoting Missing People and their yellow ribbons.

There is a strong connection to the yellow ribbons in Rothley two days earlier in my opinion. The usual public response is an avalanche of teddy bears,  dolls, flowers and messages. Not yellow ribbons. So how did the good people of Rothley have such an uncanny feel for what was to come? 

We don’t know where Gerry was, apart from Rothley, during that trip. However, he found Clarence and came back with the news that they would start a European ‘mission’. 


Clarence  started at the top: God’s  representative on earth.
Kate’s Diary: 27th May:  Clarence spoke to us about a possible visit to the Vatican. Rome is already preparing itself.’
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-Oçonnor, the RC Archbishop of Westminster, had been instrumental in organising the visit. (this suggests government connection)

SKY reports that  the Pope has been kept up to date on the search for the 4 yr old.(note: not the Pope who has expressed an interest but the already emerging top level which the McCanns at that time occupied.)

29th May: The McCanns leave in Sir Philip Green’s private jet for Rome.

30th – audience with the Pope

30th – asked a question by a Swedish journalist he is told by Gerry: ‘We have no immediate plans to go to Sweden and we hope and pray that this will be over before we get to Scandinavia.’
(for two people who want the widest possible awareness it seems that Scandinavia wasn't on the list - this may be because the itinerary was not planned by the McCanns but e.g. the Foreign Office?)


1ST June – McCanns have a busy day in Madrid taken up with government- and non-government agencies [..] various TV interviews and a press conference.

It is at this point that the intention of becoming a representative of far more than one child is apparent:

Steven Kingstone:  (voice over) ‘here they appealed for help from the public and action from the Spanish authorities.’

Gerry McCann: I would like some reassurance, in Spain, that there has been some proactive, errm investigation regarding Madeleine’s disappearance and I think it is at least worth exploring the possibility that Madeleine’s disappearance should not be considered in isolation.’

Steve Kingstone: As the couple see it, that means cross-referencing this inquiry with other missing children cases throughout Spain and Portugal. [..] This afternoon the McCanns met Spain’s interior minister to discuss a broader approach to child abduction.

Gerry knows the political jargon by now but not where he stands in the pecking order - it is not his place to demand reassurance from the Spanish government that they are investigating this case 'properly'. Demanding proactive investigation is a bit rich coming from that source I feel..


The McCanns flew into Berlin  in a private Hawker jet, lent to them by the owner.

They met British ambassador Sir Peter Torry and the Mayor of Berlin Klaus Wowereit.

This didn’t go so well:

Gerry’’s Blog: 6th June 2007:
[..] There has also been a little bit of criticism in the German press about the amount of media coverage [..] I was still surprised by the question as to whether Kate and I may be involved in Madeleine’s abduction!

[..] We had to delay our flight to Amsterdam because of some information received by the police [..] it turned out to be nothing of interest. Unquote
(A man had phoned the PJ saying he was the abductor but he would only speak to the parents themselves. Nothing of interest then.)

The BBC reports on the 6th June that: 'the parents  of Madeleine McCann have said their trip around Europe to raise awareness of their missing daughter is their way of taking positive action.'  Unquote

Once in Amsterdam there were no government ministers to meet, no presidents of charities or any such dignitaries. Not even the Mayor of Amsterdam. Just journalists, who didn’t ask the right questions.  So more or less 0 points for that visit. Although after the scheduled meetings Gerry caught up with  “a friend of mine who was attending a medical conference in Amsterdam”. (This was most probably Matthew Oldfield  - interesting since they barely knew each other before the PdL holiday – but perhaps useful.)


Surprisingly, no jet for Morocco, but an ancient pre-war plane. (One wonders if the luxury part of the European Tour had already been down-scaled rather than that the luxury jet had  engine trouble.)

They arrive with posters printed in Arabic and these same posters are presumably the ones which the Moroccan schoolchildren had  to hold up for the photographs.

The Portuguese  journalist Paulo Reis reports:
[..] the English couple was accompanied by a very British gentleman who is presented to us as a British diplomat from the Foreign Office. John Kayne accompanies the English couple on his journey for two weeks.

The McCanns meet with the Directors of various children’s charities and Kate tells us that ‘for these meetings to take place permission must have been granted by the King himself’. A little later she mentions a ‘palace-sponsored child welfare watchdog’.  Still – that’s as close as they got to the King. As an extra they are received by the minister of Islamic Affairs, this meeting is arranged by his daughter, who is their translator.

If we look at the overall results it all started very well in Rome, in Madrid other children were added to the mission but both Berlin and Amsterdam were rather disappointing. There was no mention of the British Ambassador in Amsterdam and there are few details of the meeting with the Mayor of Berlin.

In both cases the press conferences proved to be a minefield. Neither of the McCanns came over well and in Amsterdam advice was given to Gerry by Clarence whilst holding up a pair of pyjamas to hide their conversation. Journalists tend to notice such things.

Morocco too, seems even more of a disappointment. Virtually nothing in the way of government officials, the usual news conference where this time they are flanked by a translator and Clarence.

More to the point – we are told that an official from the Foreign Office has accompanied the McCanns for two weeks. That’s just about right, starting with Rome on the 29th of May to the 12th of June. So that means the F.O. had their minder in place.


‘madeleine’Chapter 11:

At the beginning of June, Gerry had a call from the director of communications at the Foreign Office… [..] whatever the case, it was suggested to Gerry that we should use Madeleine’s Fund to employ someone to replace Clarence once our campaign visits were complete. Unquote

So from the above we see: government participation and no doubt at all, connections made so that the McCanns could meet dignitaries and preferably government officials. After the Pope's blessing the expectations may have been high, but in fact it went downhill from there fairly fast, resulting in the Foreign Office recalling Clarence and presumably all other liaison with foreign powers to arrange visits for the McCanns ceased at that time.
It seems that by the middle of June things started to go quiet:

17th June: Kate’s Diary:
'Cherie Blair phoned to find out how we were.[..] I also had the chance to speak to Tony who told me that we weren’t to hesitate to ask him if there was something he could do to help.’

19th June Gerry is in the UK,  loses his wallet with the credit cards the Home Office have assured the PJ he doesn’t have, visits (according to Clarence Mitchell) the F.O.  and returns to PdL only to find a drunk in the road who needs help.

There are no photographs from this entire trip, so no journalists lying in wait in Gatwick or elsewhere. It does not appear that he has taken up Blair’s kind offer of help given just two days earlier.  

12th July – 14th July -Things are looking a bit better on the next trip when Gerry is honoured by the Police Federation but this junket is arranged entirely by The Sun, who sponsors the award. The Sun even suggests giving the McCanns an award (for what I am not clear) but Kate writes in her book that they didn’t feel worthy of such honours.

Gerry visits CEOP – but that is not a government institution as such – it was at the time a Ltd. Co. with government funding. 

Gerry does meet with the Press Complaints Commission’s president. He visits Sir Christopher Meyer at his home in London where Sir Christopher gives him the bad news that the PCC doesn’t do money for bad publicity.

Somewhere along the line the McCanns have paid Bell Pottinger half a million pounds to keep Madeleine on the front page for a year. Possibly during this period when the media were losing interest.

22nd July – 26th July  Gerry is in the US. But once again, not meeting top people, but congressmen and an Attorney-General. He seems to have spent nearly two days at the  US missing children centre. 

Gerry’s blog 25th July:
[..] visit to the White House to meet with the First Lady’s deputy Chief of Staff Sarah Armstrong. This visit was facilitated by Lady Catherine Meyer, founder of the British charity PACT.  Unquote

Again some name-dropping (Pope and G 8 summit had already had a pat on the back) cunningly  phrased but in effect he met the deputy of the Chief of Staff  of the wife of the President and had a lightning tour of the public areas of the White House.

Gerry managed to  mention the G8 summit in a TV interview and gives the impression they had taken note of the plight of the McCanns. He mentions a discussion with the Attorney General to advance legislation, but it that's all.  He basically only spoke to the president of ICMEC  and a few notables and he got into the White House because an ex-ambassador’s wife pulled a few strings.

This set of journeys together does give some indication where the government definitely did interfere (e.g. Home Office, credit cards, records) and helped (F.O. supplying a minder for the Eurotour, lending Clarrie, making connections with dignitaries to be visited) but on the whole they weren’t wholeheartedly behind the McCanns and their help was withdrawn at the earliest opportunity. That is help in promoting the McCanns, - under Brown the manipulation went on, but by that time it was more   of  a damage limitation exercise. Most of Brown's interference occurred after they became arguidos.

It seems  obvious is that  the press were  losing interest by mid June  and at the same time  the Foreign Office had suggested that if the McCanns wanted media liaison they could pay for it themselves.

The charities stand out in this collection of  players, principally Missing People  – the yellow ribbons in Rothley, the relaunch on the same date that the McCanns announced their European Tour.
Which may well have been arranged with the F.O.  during that visit which also produced the pool photo. 

Blair was about to step down as PM and desperately keen to become European President. That may have been one factor in the unprecedented help given. Cherie Blair was a director of  PACT, a charity which paid the directors more than the total income at one time but had always had European ambitions as evidenced by her interference regarding the Human Rights Act. 
EU wanted  to set up  a complete DNA database of all EU citizens, still does as far as I know.  An abducted photogenic toddler might have been just the catalyst the politicians needed.  

But only by early June was political help being withdrawn, so it took a month for the doubts about the abduction  to reach those with the power to take decisions  - still Blair.  Brown didn't take over until the end of June.  Perhaps Whitehall  finally understood the importance of those shutters or perhaps they'd finally looked at the very files they refused to send to the Police Judiciare: MBM's health records and  the  McCann's credit card records.

And by  September Gordon Brown was not so easily brought into line -  gone were the days when Gerry would phone Brown and leave a message to phone him back asap.   From then on it seems he doesn't even want to speak to them, the glory days didn't last long. 

From the Vanity Fair Interview, September 2007 published in February issue 2008:

........ they now feel deserted by the Prime Minister.
In the interview, Clarence Mitchell, the McCann’s spokesman, said: “ is true that we have requested a meeting with the prime minister to show him the strength of our case, to explain Kate and Gerry’s innocence - and yet all we’ve been offered is a medium-level-consular meeting, which we rejected.”

This link is well worth a read:
'MAD COW' LEGISLATION' 02 November 2009

By Dr Martin Roberts

Finding of Fact

•  14. FCO told the Commissioner that a family member had made clear to FCO staff that all comments made by that individual 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.



20th May: Gerry returns to the UK , he appears not to have seen any family, gets photographed in Rothley amongst yellow ribbons.

22nd May: Gerry returns with Clarence Mitchell – lent to him by the F.O.

22nd May: Philomena - wife of keen amateur astronomer and skilled and knowledgable photo manipulator - arrives in PdL

24th May Last photo released to the world’s Press.    Mitchell very keen to emphasise the TIME on the Last Photo

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