Wednesday, 27 May 2015


Sitting beside a swimming pool in the Algarve on that May evening Gerry and Kate McCann were enjoying themselves. The tapas bar of the Mark Warner holiday resort in Praia da Luz was buzzing with holidaymakers and it was quiz night. 

The McCanns were favourites to win the contest organised by the resort’s aerobics teacher Najova Chekaya. After all, the two doctors had brains on their side. Around their table were seven friends from England, three of them also doctors and one a top medical research fellow.’ 10th August 2007. 

Who needs to lie when you've got journalists doing it for you? The above snippet reads like the opening chapter of a Mills and Boone. I'm not sure who the top medical research fellow was, unless they meant the fellowship grant given to G.P. McCann in 2004 which is far from being the same thing.  GM was reported to be a surgeon at the start of the affair.  


1)  3/5/07 Allegedly: Kate told Fiona, Rachel and JT that Sean and Madeleine had cried. Statements made in rogs. april 08

2)Statement  Kate  4/5/07  M asked why K hadn’t come when twins were crying. 

3)Statement 4/5/07 Gerry  M asked why K hadn’t come when twins were crying. 

4)Request 5/5/07 to LPO Markley to make the PJ aware of the crying. 

5)Statement 10/5/07 Gerry - Madeleine and Sean

6)Statement 6/9/07  Kate  - Madeleine alone.

7) Statement Gerry  7/9/07 Madeleine alone

ad 1) Dr. Roberts:  ‘A crying shame’ - 2nd July 2010
And those episodes of retelling in hindsight? They took place at the dinner table on Thursday night, i.e. before Madeleine's absence had been noted. That is not hindsight at all, but foresight, the all-important observation being made to friends first, the police afterwards (by both parents on 4 May, Gerry again on 10th May, Kate once more on 6th September and Gerry on the 7th).

ad 4) (Dr. Roberts, see above)  witness statement by Leicestershire Police Officer Stephen Markley, made on 25 April, 2008, in relation to his activities as family communication officer while working in Portugal with the McCanns. The key aspect (for present purposes) of his statement is as follows:
"However, in relation to the above, I would like to add the following: At about 20.00 on Saturday 5th May 2007, I arrived at the apartment where Kate and Gerry were staying, with other officers. During the meeting Gerald and Kate had a number of questions to which they wanted follow up and responses from the PJ.

"One of these questions was that they wanted the PJ to be aware of was Madeleine's revelation about Wednesday night, when she said that she was left alone during the night. She told Kate and Gerry that she remembered the twins crying and that she wanted to know why neither her mother nor her father had gone to the room to see what was happening."

It's only when this desire is set against the fact that they had already (4 May) twice told the PJ themselves about the incident, that their request to Officer Markley on the 5th appears overly insistent.

ad 5) A week later, when advisors/PR are present to assist, Gerry changes it to Madeleine and Sean. 

ad 6) It was reported by the McCanns themselves in their 'one year on' documentary of 30 April, 2008, 
( and in their interview with Dermot Murhaghan for Sky News a day later.( in which Gerry slips up and says that the twins cried.

ad 7) When asked if on the night of May 1, 2007 he went to have dinner at the Tapas with Kate, he says yes. As usual they would come and check on the children every half hour, usually alternating. They arrived at the Tapas around 20:30, and then went to the apartment every half hour, until they arrived back, at around 23:00, plus or minus 10 minutes. Occasionally one of the others in the group made the check, he does not remember if this happened on the 1st. It is not true that Madeleine had been crying that night for an hour and 15 minutes, because she was not alone all that time.


In all  of the above variations on a theme the essential part of the crying episode is that the parents learned it at first-hand from Madeleine. 
In my opinion on the 4th of May they both told the truth: one of the twins or both were crying.  All other versions are improvements on the original. In other words: it is a developing narrative, enhanced to serve the abduction story. 

At a later date this narrative was further enhanced by the suggestion that on the night of the 2nd an abductor had done a trial run. Further 'proof' of this theory was a strange stain Kate found on Maddiés pyjamas on the morning of the 3rd.

Now for some cognitive thinking: 

The half-hour checks are in place - registered as it were with the Tapas and the reception where as from Sunday (or Monday) the intention of the group was made clear:  Tapas booked for every evening, children to be checked every half hour by their very own listening service as MW had not provided one. 

Neglect is therefore in place but an ‘excusable - we’ve all done it’ type of neglect. What must be addressed immediately is this outstandingly long period of neglect. According to Mrs. Fenn’s statement of the 20th August 2007 it started around 10.30 and continued to 11.45 when the parents came back. 

Still cognitive thinking here: you know you’ve left a child in the apartment, possibly sedated, possibly not. The most likely person to have complained to the staff is the nearest neighbour. You return to 5a and see a light on in the apartment above so it’s pretty likely that this person has complained to MW. The staff member who came to find them may even have told them who it was. But if not - it does not matter -  the staff member who came to find them knew. So the evidence of Mrs. Fenn is not  needed to explain the immediate action taken to incorporate this event in the abduction story. Somebody knew, an outsider.

So what you need to do is to spin the event as well as you can, right from the start. It’s very likely to come out as soon as the abduction is announced and that imo, is exactly what we see from the statements. What needs to be kept secret is that the children were always watched by one of the group. On the 1st May that would have been ROB (see extract from ‘madeleine’ below). 

By the way: the quiz is not mentioned in the book 'madeleine' nor is it mentioned in the rogatories and where ROB says that the Tuesday was the night they were all together, he does not mention the quiz. Kate states very clearly in her book that ROB wasn not there. So both have a memory of the night but the one night that something is different at the Tapas Bar - the quiz - a useful aide memoire, it is not mentioned. Surely one would say, 'that was the night of the quiz and we were all there..'

Rachel Mampilly rogatory: 
‘I know that on Thursday night when we sat down at the table, Kate said that to Madeleine and Sean had you know, said they’d been crying on the Wednesday night and asking where erm, they’d said they’d been crying and, and, some, you know, this is sort of with hindsight but I you know, I was trying to think whether I’d heard anything but.’ 
1578 ‘ On the Wednesday evening’. (2nd May)
1578 ‘Who said they’d been crying sorry’
‘Kate did, when we sat down at the table on the Thursday night [..]I was next door in the apartment but I mean I didn’t hear any, well you know, I didn’t hear anything. 
So is it possible that one of the twins was crying and the other one was with the other children?  It’s not that unlikely, the twins allegedly slept in separate cots, so weren’t necessarily used to sleeping together.  A two year old is also perfectly capable of calling for Daddy. One might have been teething or fractious.  I’m just pointing out that the crying can be attributed to at least three children, nothing about it was unique to Maddie. 
From: Madeleine:  (1st May)
‘Only two minor aspects of that evening stand out as differing from the norm. The first was that Russell didn’t join us for dinner. [..] the second was that some time in the early hours Madeleine came through to our bedroom, complaining that Amelie was crying and had woken her up. Gerry checked on Amelie, who settled quickly and we let Madeleine jump into bed with us.’ 
That’s as good a bit of spin as I’ve ever seen. Now we have crying on two nights!  Not only that, we’ve even established that Maddie was the one bearing the message about crying in both cases and apparently nobody else heard any crying, except Mrs. Fenn and now TM have explained that she got the date wrong, got Maddie (alive and involved) in that little episode as well. But....

Working on the thesis the children were not neglected but all together with an adult each evening, or at least seven of them , makes one question why Paulo Rebelo is reported to have said seven, and not eight. Information known only to the investigation. 

One member of the group who babysat the children, taking it in turns as to who would be 'sick' that night , made it impossible for Madeleine to have been abducted ! [..]

The McCanns had a devious plan to disrupt the investigation. This would be the moment a Spanish reporter Nacho Abad, revealed on live television that he had proof the PJ had leaked information from the McCanns files. The 'crying incident' had been born right in the middle of Paulo Rebelos interrogation of the tapas 7.

Nacho Abad, it will come as no surprise to learn, had good contacts with Metodo 3 and of course Clarence Mitchell.

The McCanns,  including the tapas 7 well aware that Rebelo knew their secret, they had all lied about neglecting their children. [..]
Rebelo an unknown quantity , the McCanns no longer in control of the investigation, their fear must have been what if Rebelo repeats 'the children were all together'... to the media whilst in England , they would be finished.
Hence the' leaking' of information , once more pushing child neglect.  unquote

Every night they would eat at the Tapas. But the Tapas has several sittings and on quiz night the sittings were at 7.15, at 8.00 and at 8.30. 
I find it hard to believe that those having booked for 7.15 ( 6 people)  would have sat around waiting for the quiz  - (According to Sol newspaper it finished at 9.30) or so.  No bookings are taken after 8.30. One may expect the meal to finish before 10.30 pm . So lets say the Tapas bar closes around 11.00/11.30 pm. Just right for Happy Hour. 

Happy Hour at Chaplin’s starts at 11.30. Where on May 1st there was a Quiz Night as well. I can’t see any problem with some of the group going along there for a few drinks after dining at the Tapas. Certainly if seven of the children were together and supervised, no problem.  But we’re back to that special form of neglect, the one that can be blamed on Portugal lacking laws against paedophiles, MW not having a listening service and children being frightened of foreign nannies - and above all - a known and observed and advertised neglect. How else would an abductor know? 

Here are  the  Tapas dinner reservations for that evening.
Not exactly ‘ buzzing with holiday makers’ ! 

From 8/11/2009 posted by Inez: Re comments by Vera on Sky. 

[..]MW in Portugal was spread over a large area with no security walls. [..] The McCanns went to another restaurant (Chaplin’s) the previous night [..] 800 metres more in distance than the 200 metres it takes to get to the Tapas Bar. MW’s staff had to go and find them and ask the McCanns to return to their apartment as one of their children had been crying for over an hour and a half.  unquote

So they were at dinner, all except ROB. (Except that ROB says in his rogatory that he rather thinks that the Tuesday was the day they were all together, all nine..)

There was a quiz - possibly  starting about 9.00 to 9.30. 

Kate is said to be in or near 5a as from 10.16 when her mobile  is activated six times in rapid succession: 

Kiko's tweets:
RobertMurat's texting at 2200 on 1/5 was directly connected with KMccann's which started 2 mins after Murat's had finished.
Here's another funny thing: Murat pairs of SMS 2200 1/5 separated by: 1 min, 3 mins, 6 mins. KM's at 2216 by 1 min, 3 mins, 7 mins.Connect! . 

KM was in/near 5A making mobile calls until TWO minutes before crying started. Or at least, the calls were from her mobile. The afternoon run she seems to have put the Madeleine in the creche at 15.15, then put the twins into their creche at 15.25, then back to get Madeleine out of the creche at 15.30.
The only phone records that seem to be public for this day are for DP who had calls at 0846 and 1550.

PJudiciaria have withheld Annex 37 - tele calls 1/5. But they slipped up and told us KM's mob made 16 calls on 1 May. Probably some of these (rapid burst late evening) were begging for help which was sent via voicemail next day.
@PJudiciaria You withheld Annex 37. So you know the importance of K #McCann's texts/calls 1/5 2031-37 and 2216-28. Urgent! 

So K #McCann had a frenzy of calls on 1/5. Gerry didn't make a single voice call 1 or 2/5. But his 12 voicemails dovetailed neatly, w/out overlap, with incoming calls fm; Amanda, his Ma, Whetstone woman, Rachel and Jane. Each time 1 of them called, GM was waiting for it.

Kate phones early on the 2nd: 

Other observations: 

Kate says she slept in the children’s room. It is still not clear why we are told this detail. It could simply be that the twins did not normally sleep in cots but in a bed side by side and that the cots had been to show that three children slept in 5a. Which would explain why the twins were initially absent from the room on 3/5 after the alarm and were later carried back to ‘their own’ apartment. 

One cot was in the bedroom on Wednesday 2 May. ‘ from the statement of the cleaner. (the parent’s bedroom) This appears to be important as it is strongly denied by TM. 

Gerry's statement on the &th September 2007:
When questioned, he said that on the day they arrived, April 28, they removed two cots that were in their room, and placed them in Madeleine's room. He is unable to confirm, but it could be possible, that there were 3 cots, and they asked for one to be removed.

It is not true that on a certain day they placed one cot in their room, leaving the other in Madeleine's room.



Tuesday, 19 May 2015


Tuesday, 23 January 2007
Bell Pottinger Consumer and Resonate come together
The merger of Bell Pottinger Consumer and Resonate gives The Bell Pottinger Group a new concentrated consumer public relations offering and creates an agency that would immediately slot into PR Week’s top 15 consumer agencies in the UK.
It will be led by Michael Frohlich with Tricia Moon and Graham Drew as Board Directors.
Following on from the previous post we now see that Bell Pottinger and Resonate are in effect one and the same. Therefore Bell Pottinger was already present at the OC during the week preceding 3rd May 2007. 
PR Week formulates this carefully but it is clear that the referral came from the MD of Resonate and it is in my opinion likely that  he was there when it happened. 
We see that - instead of other Bell Pottinger staff such as Alex Woolfall - the liaison is done by the directors of Resonate. 

PR Week, 9th May 2007 :
Mark Warner brought in Resonate on a generic brief a week before three-year old Madeleine McCann was kidnapped [..] MD Michael Frohlich then referred the firm to his parent company’s crisis specialist. 
Frohlich and Resonate director Tricia Moon are helping liaise with the British consulate in Portugal, the Portuguese Police and and the portuguese and UK media.  
(On the 5th of May Alex Woolfall - Head of Crisis Management at Bell Pottinger flies in.) 1) 
From the book ‘madeleine’: Chapter 8 - to clarify: this must be the morning of the  5th which means that Alan Pike flew in on the 4th, the same must be the case for Craig Mayhew  (MW overseas manager) who may also have flown in on the 4th to be phoned by Gerry at the ungodly hour of 5.00 am to arrange for Alan Pike to meet the McCs at  6.00 am. 
‘Having been so late back from the police station the previous evening, we’d decided to wait until morning to meet the trauma psychologist, Alan Pike. But by this point we realized that we needed help urgently. Just before 5am Gerry rang Craig Mayhew, the Mark Warner overseas manager, and asked if Alan would be able to come and see us. He was at the door of our apartment by 6am.
Alan is a clinical partner at the Centre for Crisis Psychology, pioneers in psychological trauma aftercare following disasters at home and abroad. They have worked with the families and survivors of the Bradford fire, the sinking of the Herald of Free Enterprise, the World Trade Center terrorist attacks and the 2004 tsunami, to name just a few. Alan himself, we would learn, had been involved in the aftermath of, among other horrors, coach crashes in Gran Canaria, Cuba and South Africa, three hurricanes and the terrorist bombing at Sharm el Sheikh two years earlier.
[..] He told us we seemed like model parents. [..] 2) (the following extract seems very much at odds with the  superman description above, here is Alan Pike having to explain his qualifications and capabilities in  a Portuguese court.)
GP- What exactly is your profession?
AP answers he is a Crisis Counsellor. 
GP asks whether he is a psychologist?
AP says he has some competences in psychology (psychology was one of the elements in his degree)
GP asks again ‘are you a psychologist?’ 
AP says no [..]
AP  they were surprised with the book because the final Report said they were innocent. 
GP Have you read the final report?
AP says ‘no’
GP How do you know then what its conclusions are?
AP says the McCanns told him. 
5th May 2007 to the 9th May 2007: the support group from UK.
Eleven members of the family and friends (arrivals on 4th, 5th and 6th)
Craig Mayhew, MW operations director. arrival 4th.
The Consul and Pro Consul 4th
The British Ambassador  arrival 4th
Alan Pike (trauma psychologist) arrival 4th.
PR Head of crisis management, Alex Woolfall 5th.
3 Leicester Police Officers arrival 5th. 
Two Criminal Behaviour Experts from CEOP  prob. 9/5

A phonecall from Cherie Blair  8/5
A phonecall from  Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett 
Investigators were in close touch with Interpol and Europol.

Sheree Dodd was sent from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, but soon returned to London amid reports that she did not accept the McCanns’ claim that Madeleine had been abducted. 

Clarence Mitchell didn’t officially work for the McCanns until the end of May, but is rumoured to have been on the job within days if not hours. 

11 - friends and family, 13 experts from Foreign Office, MMU, CEOP, LP , PR and just 5 days. That’s apart from the good people of PdL searching, the PJ, the GNR, the helicopters, the search and rescue dogs. 
Tuesday May 8, 2007
Ambassador Buck gave a television interview in which he said he had been in touch with Portuguese ministers and the prime minister Jose Socrates, and senior police chiefs who assured him everything possible was being done to ensure the safe return of Madeleine. [..]
Buck made a statement to the media announcing the arrival of additional British experts. Said that investigators were in close touch with Interpol and Europol
Ambassador Buck said they were "kidnapping experts" and had joined the 3 other British investigators who had been in Portugal since Saturday 5th.
"... two 'Cracker-style' criminal behaviour experts from Britain flew into the Algarve yesterday to join investigators..."
They were from CEOP and their dispatch had been organised by the British Foreign Office. 
A spokeswoman for the CEOP said the move was unprecedented and had been organised by the Foreign Office." 

This is very interesting, I believe that these two ‘crackers’ were joining the three investigators sent by ‘Control Risk Group’. I cannot think of any other explanation. Russell O’Brien  (further down) gets a little overheated about the Control Risks not having been there as early as that, despite leaving their stamp on the third effort of the timeline of the evening. Which was handed to the PJ on the 10th of May. 

From ‘The Truth of the Lie’  by Goncalo Amaral
On Monday May 7th, we start to welcome our English colleagues from Leicestershire, the county where Madeleine and her parents live.
(note that these officers arrived on the 5th and had already been in contact with the McCanns - only meeting the PJ two days later seems a little strange as work continued through the weekend
[..] Little by little, the number of English police officers grows exponentially. We place at their disposal a room next to our crisis unit, Task Portugal. These are specialists from various police services, including Scotland Yard. Special surveillance teams as well as information and telecommunications technicians turn up with their laptops and various high-tech equipment. unquote
From ‘madeleine’:
The Portuguese police were apparently reluctant early on to accept any help beyond this from their counterparts in the UK. However, in addition to the Leicestershire FLOs, they did permit forensic psychologists from CEOP, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, and an analyst from the National Policing Improvements Agency to come to Praia da Luz the following week. Even that may have been unprecedented: we understood this was the first time the Portuguese authorities had ever allowed any foreign force into the country to assist in an investigation.
[..]  In the coming weeks we would meet DCS Bob Small, who we found straight-talking and honest. A lot of hard work went on at home as well, where DS Stuart Prior, the senior investigating officer, was kind enough to show our relatives round the incident room – and Gerry, too, later on.
11th May:
The US Marines arrive  in the form of the IFLG - set up a mere 6 weeks earlier yet already consultants for UK government and experts in cases of child abduction -according to their brand-new website. Of more interest is ‘Hugh’ and the anonymous donor. Although ROB and Jane Tanner at a later date state that Control Risks are the company brought in by the McCanns, this seems unlikely in view of the extract below. 
Hugh was clearly not working for free and had been ‘brought in’  - by whom we are not told. 

From ‘madeleine’ chapter 8. 
At the last two meetings the barrister and legal assistant were joined by a consultant called Hugh, whose profession was at first not explained (Just call me Hugh, he said enigmatically) It transpired that he was a former intelligence officer, now a kidnap negotiator and counsellor. We were told that an anonymous (but evidently very generous) donor had set aside a considerable sum of money for us to put towards the cost of hiring a private investigation company if we wished. 
Hugh had been brought in by a firm called control risks, which was primed to help. This company is an independent specialist risk consultancy [..] the first session Hugh attended, which took place at night, had something of a James Bond atmosphere to it..[..] unquote. 
Ms. Healy is spot on here,  although I feel that the James Bond connection started rather earlier than the 11th. 
Between May the 5th and May the 12th two other top people from Control Risks Group are dispatched to Praia da Luz. Kenneth Farrow and Michael Keenan. Mr. Farrow is the ex-head of Economic Crime Unit in the City of London Police and Mr. Keenan is an ex-superintendent from the Metropolitan Police. (
(As neither is called ‘Hugh’, one may assume he is the third of those mentioned by the Ambassador. LP initially sent two liaison officers not investigative officers so imo these are not the ones mentioned by the Ambassador on the 8th)

ABC News - London September 27th, 2007. Christine Brouwer:
[..] Sources close to the family told British media that Kate and Gerry McCann had retained the services of Control Risks Group. - an international company that employs former members of the British Intelligence services and the army.[..]
A spokeswoman for CRG, [..] ‘we don’t confirm or deny who we’re working for.’
Unquote.( To paraphrase Mandy Rice-Davies: well, they wouldn’t would they?
Personally I do not believe the McCanns hired Control Risks and this is evident in the above extract from the book in my opinion.)
On the 14th of September 2007 there was a meeting at Kingsley Napley in London: present were the McCanns, Brian Kennedy, Edward Smethurst, Angus McBride (solc.) Michael Caplan QC(expert in extradition proceedings) and two members of staff of Control Risks Group. 
The next question is what were Control Risks Group  actually doing in PdL? It  seems Jane Tanner spoke with them before she identified Robert Murat.
Her husband  seems to be rather anxious about Control Risks having stamped their logo on his timeline. One may wonder why and how this particular document previously in the possession of Control Risks got back to the Leicester Police. 
It would  be helpful if ROB had managed to finish some of his sentences. 
This statement was copied and given to each of the Tapas - iirc the PJ refused to let them take this crib-sheets in with them for their interviews on the 10th of May. Below is ROB’s insistence that Control Risks had nothing to do with the timelines and wasn’t even there at the time to create them. However, I find it  amazing that this three-page timeline was created by ROB. In any case the timeline was written before the 10th of May and Control Risks was most likely there before the 8th.

Number: S746A
Surname: O-BRIEN
Statement Date: 10/04/2008  part II

Reply    “And the rest of it’s, you know, in shorthand but accurate.  Yeah, I’ll go just down to there because it changes there.  Erm, just to clarify that you made the timeline, I’ve written it, it’s fine, all of that, I think that’s fine, the times are quite vague and I’m not sure really but they’ll do. I don’t know why it says ‘Control Risk’ in?”
1578    “That’s the company”.
Reply    “Yeah”.
1578    “I think that submitted, is this the company investigating on behalf of Gerry and Kate?”
Reply    “Yeah, yeah, but the time, the timeline was done by us and us alone, the one that you got out yesterday”.
1578    “Okay.  So ‘Control Risk’ needs to come out?
Reply    “Yeah, so I don’t know whether we gave, we probably gave them a copy as well, although I don’t remember specifically, but, you know, Gerry, Gerry had a copy of the file just as, as we did, but Control Risk, I don’t think were even, were even there at that point”.
1578    “Okay”.
Reply    “Erm, and so that was a timeline that was made purely by the nine of us, erm, and, yeah, so Control Risk, certainly Control Risk had no part of it.  Erm, it says it ‘Was written the first weekend after Madeleine’s disappearance’, ‘After the first weekend’, so I don’t think we did it on the Saturday or the Sunday, I think it was probably”.
1578    “So ‘Was written’?”
Reply    “’After the first weekend after Madeleine’s disappearance’, so I’m not entirely sure of, of which day we started, which day we completed on, but it certainly, well I don’t think it was as early as the Saturday or the Sunday, I think I said on, the other day that it was probably the sort of Monday or Tuesday of the next week, but I’m not entirely sure, but as I say, it wasn’t the Saturday or the Sunday, it wasn’t that quick.  unquote
In an article about the case 29th June 2014, Goncalo Amaral said: 
People will eventually learn what really happened when MI5 opens the case files. don’t forget that the British secret services followed the case right from the beginning’.

The PR expert who advised Madeleine's parents in the first weeks of her disappearance offers a new insight into their state of mind
Dominic Kennedy  October 6, 2007

Mr Woolfall has provided the first detailed account by an insider of what happened to the McCanns during the desperate days after Madeleine disappeared. [..]
Kate and Gerry have been largely left to get on with it, with no support in the initial stages, or guidance. 

2) from the book ‘madeleine’: 

The Mark Warner staff opened up the Toddler Club – it was usually closed on a Saturday, ‘changeover day’ – so that Sean and Amelie and our friends’ children could be looked after and entertained.
(Later in the book Kate relates a little episode where they had to collect the twins from the creche ‘themselves’ - but don’t worry, they found somebody to do their lunch thank goodness.)

links:   rogatory  R. O’Brien Control Risks Group


Wednesday, 13 May 2015


From: ‘The Establishment: and how they get away with it’ 

by Owen Jones Published by Penguin 1 March 2015

(Lord Bell is commenting on the ‘Hacked Off’ campaign. )
‘Attempts to scrutinize the Murdoch empire were fiercely resisted by its allies in the British elite, who contrived to say they didn’t understand what the fuss was about. ‘I don’t want to know what happened to the Dowler family, and I’m very sorry, but honestly I can’t get into a state about it, says Lord Bell, Thatcher’s former advisor, chairman of PR giant Bell Pottinger, and a close ally of the Murdoch empire. He has long given Rupert Murdoch PR advice, and advised Rebekah Brooks during the phone-hacking scandal. ‘And I’m really not interested in what the McCanns think, because the McCanns paid me £ 500,000 in fees to keep them on the front page of every single newspaper for a year, which we did.’
Leveson Enquiry 31/1/2012 the Press Complaints Commission
Sir Christopher Meyer:  ‘What I said to Gerry McCann when I first saw him was that this is what the PCC can do for you, this is how we can help. If you want damages, if it comes to that, we do not do money. The courts do money, so you’re going to have to make a choice’ 
Mr. Jay: To be clear about that, when did you say that to Dr. McCann? 
Sir Christopher Meyer: In July of 2007.
Mr. Jay:  And the circumstances were what? Was it a meeting? 
Sir Christopher Meyer: At my house. 
Mr. Jay: [..] Between September 2007 and January 2008, there were 38 defamatory articles in the Express Newspaper group’s publications.[..] Did the PCC do anything at all during that period? 
Sir Christopher Meyer: We did a lot. We were in pretty close contact with the press handlers of the McCanns. [..] can’t be more royalist than the king on these matters. You cannot wish to stop something more ardently than the first party. But by that time I think they had chosen to go to law. [..] But I have to say to you - this is so important - we’d made particular efforts with the McCanns to make ourselves available. Within 48 hours of Madeleine McCann disappearing, we informed them through the British embassy in Lisbon that we stood ready.  [...] I go back to this again: you can’t wish for something more than the first party themselves, and I think Dr. McCann has expressed rather well the complexity of the situation in which he found himself. He needed the press, but he didn’t need those articles. He had professional handlers and I can’t say more than that. 
But on the 25th August 2007 the PCC got no mention - TM was still alone in the wilderness it appears.  Perhaps that was because Sir Christopher Meyer had already told him they didn’t do money? In July of 2007 -  GM was in the UK at that time.
BBC Edinburgh :
Nick: ‘Gerry McCann, why did you want to come here to a conference of television executives?’ 
GM: ‘[..] what I didn’t expect was such an intense coverage of the news story for such a long time.’ [..] ..what we really just want to do .. I mean we hope it never gets there but if Madeleine is still missing we just want to remind people from time to time, infrequently now that she is still missing and we’re still looking.’ 
Nick: ‘From the outside it appears that you’ve been running... candidly, crudely a very professional campaign with a lot of very experienced public relations professionals and so on .. (Gerry is grinning at this point) I mean clearly that is accidental but how did that come about?’ 
GM: ‘Well it’s not at all, you know we’re just err happen to be a fairly ordinary family  err some of whom were quite good at err speaking on television. Of course, we had advice at the beginning from the PR people brought in by Mark Warner [...] and then due to this massive media demand on us - not the other way round - not us asking for media we were advised that we should have a family spokesperson and we asked the Foreign Office to provide that  [...]  and then of course we did decide that we needed someone to help advise us err longer term for our campaign and with madeleine’s Fund we decided to appoint a campaign manager.. [..] I think the key thing is that erm what we would ask that the, the story Madeleine’s disappearance and investigation is reported responsibly and only newsworthy material being reported.’ 
Nick: So you would like much less coverage.’ 
GM: ‘Absolutely, you know because there has been huge amounts written with no substance. 
Here again,  just like Sir Christopher, it seems Nick is on the ball. He can recognise a professional campaign when he sees one. Gerry tells him they weren’t asking for media, what comes across is the urgent need to control what is printed. What appears to be rather less urgent is finding Madeleine as it will now be enough to remind people from time to time, ‘infrequently now that she’s still missing’  does not strike me as an urgent appeal to find his daughter.  
The Leveson Enquiry: Gerald Patrick McCann - 30-10-2011:
What followed was a sustained, inaccurate and malicious series of headlines in a number of papers which gave the impression that we were in some way responsible for or involved in Madeleine’s disappearance. 
[..] Daily Mail a journalist called David Jones, who I had never met felt it appropriate to write an article with the sub heading ‘ I pray the Portuguese police are careering down the wrong track, but from the start, a terrible nagging doubt has refused to leave me.’ .
[..] Associated Newspapers had also published a number of very serious allegations. ..
The complaint was resolved with the payment of a substantial donation to be used in the search for Madeleine... [..] 
[..] had it not been for the availability of a Conditional Fee Agreement, it would have been very difficult - if not impossible - for Kate and I to have brought the complaint as we do not have the resources to take on large media organisations in this way. 
[..] we agreed to an interview with HELLO! to publicise this campaign (Amber alert).
When the NotW editor, Colin Myler, found out about our interview with HELLO! he telephoned me direct.[..] The NotW had very generously raised a £ 1.5m reward. [..]It also sadly highlighted that any help given to help Find Madeleine was conditional. 
In the end we were made to feel so guilty that we agreed to give an interview to the NotW despite not really wanting to do so. At the time we did not want to upset the NotW and wanted to keep them onside for Madeleine’s sake. {..] an article by NotW columnist Carole Malone also featured in the paper under the heading ‘I wept for Kate but I still blame her.’
The advice we had from our lawyers was that the press would not consider an adjudication from the PCC to be a deterrent. We were advised, and this was confirmed by Sir Christopher, that an effective remedy to prevent further damaging articles could only be achieved through the Courts and that the PCC were essentially powerless in stopping the Press pre-publication. [..]
One of those we met was Rebekah Brooks who was very persuasive. [..] Rebekah said that she would actively assist us in seeking a review and set out various ideas of how The Sun could help. It was this campaign [..] that persuaded us to agree to serialised extracts of kate’s book being published in The Sun and The Sunday Times. 
After the publication of the diary : The NotW agreed to publish an apology to Kate and to pay a financial donation to further the search for Madeleine. (£ 125,000,- -  Express paid £ 550,000.- Associated Newspapers paid £ 375,000.- to Tapas friends who passed the money to TM. 
Libel trial McCann v Gonçalo Amaral - Day 4 Witness No1
20.09.2013 10am.    Michael Wright 

[..]. He says there always was activity on the internet (e-mails...) but they became very subdued.
ID - What does "negative e-mail" mean?
MW says it refers to all sorts of conspiracy theories that appeared on various forums.
ID - asks if the witness can name some of these forums.
MW The 3 Arguidos and Madeleine Foundation. He says Tony Bennett invited Gonçalo Amaral to do conferences in the UK. These forums were full of speculation focused on GA's conclusions. People said those conclusions must be true because GA had been in charge of the initial investigation.
ID - When?
MW – Activity was increased and heavy in March/April 2009.
ID - Did the McCanns learn about these forums? How?
MW They learned through me, the family members who monitored the activity and their support group. [...(threats to kidnap twins)]..
MW thinks the 3A doesn't exist anymore. He says the McCanns took action against this threat and against the Madeleine Foundation. The main page of MF had the 5 conclusions.
ID asks whether he has a copy.
MW says he has screen shots. He adds he had to tell his cousins about the threats. They reported them to the UK police (Leicestershire Police). He was visited by a police officer on the matter.
ID - Was a process formally investigated?
MW had only one contact with the police. He doesn't know what happened afterwards.

To sum up:   
5th May 2007, the PCC contacts TM offering their help.  Team McCann get a free spokesman from the F.O.  and pay for a campaign manager out of the Fund. 

July 2007 GM visits Sir Christopher Meyer and is informed that the PCC does not do money. One may assume this is an answer to a question. 
In the Leveson enquiry Sir Christopher states that they cannot act for someone who isn’t willing to start the process rolling. Also that they don’t do money. 

August 2007  - bear in mind the dogs have been and gone - GM attends a media conference in Edinburgh and tells us that what is lacking is control of content and he wants much less coverage. 

In the Leveson Enquiry he appears to have misunderstood Sir Christopher who apparently now is the person who advised him to go to the courts. Whereas it is clear from Sir Christopher’s statement that he could have helped but this help was not what GM wanted. 

The two quotes from the press in his statement are hardly sensational headlines. One journalist feeling sorry for Kate but still blaming her and the other having a nagging doubt which he hopes will go away. Why quote these two when there were many far more accusative headlines?

Finally we have Michael Wright who speaks of negative emails and a support group who are monitoring the internet. He mentions the threats in some detail but appears to know nothing about actions or non actions taken by the police. Surely he would have known if action had been taken by his cousins? 

Finally, since Bell Pottinger were on the job virtually the day after 3/5/07, I would think that it was in the early days that the agreement with the PR giant was made to keep the McCanns in the press for a year. 

Monday, 4 May 2015


The book was published in  May 2011, the royalties paid have been difficult to trace in the accounts of the following years. These yearly submissions to Company House  are far from the transparent accounts promised in those heady days of May 2007.  As this is not my area of expertise - please consult the link to below. (1) .
One would have expected a significant sum as an advance paid by the publisher Transworld, considering that they could count on worldwide interest in the book ‘madeleine’. In any case, the proceeds of the book would be for the Fund. That’s what it says on the bottle so to speak and that’s what we would expect to find. 
The Fund is a Limited Company often referred to as a charity, which is incorrect. Please note: it is a Limited Company although it could easily have been a charity. (1a)

The Trade Descriptions Act 1968 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which prevents manufacturers, retailers or service industry providers from misleading consumers as to what they are spending their money on
McCanns to fund hunt for Maddie - The Sun - 29/3/2015
Exclusive by Mike Hamilton
The parents or Madeleine McCann plan to plough their own money into the search for their missing daughter if police halt their investigation. Kate and Gerry McCann both 47 , of Rothley Leics, fear public donations have dried up as the search approaches its eighth anniversary. So they have pumped almost £1 million into a fund for Madeleine that would be running at a loss without their cash. The money came from Kate's book about Madeleine's disappearance in Portugal in May 2007 and the search for her. A top cop suggested this week the £10 million police probe into the case should be wound up. Met Police Federation chairman John Tully said "We no longer have the resources to conduct specialist inquiries all over the world"  date 30 April 2015
Last night the McCanns vowed to use ‘every single penny’ of the pay-out to help find Madeleine, .....  the McCanns spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: “  The investigation will come to an end sooner or later and Kate and Gerry will use the official Madeleine fund and any awards made to them to continue their own search. 

This is confusing, in black and white we are told  that the money from the book is their own money and what’s more it has not been anywhere near the Ltd.Co. (Fund) since it was paid out by Transworld to the author. It is their own money as opposed to money which resides in the Ltd. Co. Fund.  In direct contradiction to what has been printed on the cover  of the book ‘madeleine’.
The promise on the cover may for many have been a deciding factor in buying the book for they believed they were contributing to a Fund dedicated to finding a lost child. 
This is a bit tough on Transworld who may - as distributors - come under the Trade Descriptions Act. They printed it - now, to quote Wiki, it seems they were misleading their customers as to what they were spending their money on.

Back to the early days: 
The Limited Company  (Fund) was a tremendous success in the early days and failing postal pigeons, all methods of payment were covered, some twice over,  such as  donations from Ireland via yet a third bank. (2)
Postal donations by cheque were given the address of the IFLG, which at that time had existed for no more than two months (3)
Other - cash - postal donations were encouraged by their spokesman Clarence Mitchell and one can only wonder how these were entered into the accounts of the Ltd. Co. (4)

By phone:
Text "MADDIE" to 60999 and £1 will be taken from your phone for the Madeleine Fund. 
Over the counter:any branch of NatWest and The Royal Bank of Scotland.
Postal Donations can be made with cheques payable to 'Madeleine's Fund :
Cheques should be posted to the following address:
‘Madeleine’s Fund’
c/o International Family Law Group, 26 Southampton Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7RS
Internet donations - via NatWest bank
Instant donations can now be made via Paypal
Internet banking donations from abroad - IBAN BIC nr etc.
Donations From Ireland:
Allied Irish Bank (AIB)
Account number: 07511020 Madeleine McCann account

Money was sent to:  
The private address of the parents in Rothley, a large part of which is likely to be an undisclosed amount in cash and therefore most amounts more than £ 5,-.  
The  IFLG. (not the registered office for the fund, Bates, Wells and Braithwaite)  
The  AIB  (in Ireland).
National Westminster Bank.
Royal Bank of Scotland. 
The mobile phone donations - not known how much or how accounted for. 
The money boxes dotted around the Ocean Club were presumably serviced by TM in person and contained only cash.  (5)


1) For the professional review of the Fund: 
A review of the background to setting up the limited company Madeleine's Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned and a forensic examination of the company accounts
by Enid O'Dowd FCA.

(1a): Missing People is a charity as well as a Ltd. Co. Their accounts are available online and as a charity, these are very detailed.  
It would have been possible therefore, for the Madeleine Fund to have been both a charity and a limited company.In fact the reasons given for making it a Ltd. Co. (not for profit has apparently no meaning in tax terms) blame the Charity Commission for blocking this avenue.  However, the Charity Commission let it be known that is not the case. 
See also: and

Madeleine appeal fund set up by Irish friend Irish Independent

Ronald Quinlan
Sunday May 20 2007

AS the search for abducted four-year-old Madeleine McCann enters its third week, a dedicated bank account has finally been set up here in Ireland to allow people to assist through donations.

Funds raised through the Madeleine McCann Appeal account at the AIB bank are to be used to help fund the ongoing search for Madeline, and to help defray the costs of legal representation for her distraught parents.

The establishment of the account has been undertaken by Donegal-based Katerina Fernandez, a close friend of the missing girl's family.

Madeleine and her parents stayed with Ms Fernandez on a recent holiday in Donegal. Ms Fernandez fondly recalled the Easter visit.

"It's very hard to take it all in. It's bad enough when it's a child you don't know. But she was here with her family. It was only a weekend, but I can still see everybody down at the beach playing rounders. I can still picture Madeleine there. It's devastating," she said.

Ms Fernandez set up the fundraising account at the AIB to maintain awareness of Madeleine's case in Ireland.

Madeleine McCann Fund
AIB Account No: 07511020
Sort Code: 93-73-39

The IFLG  launched 31 March 2007. 6 weeks or so old by the time of the events. A Leicester solicitor Richard Jones is sent to PdL,  by 22nd August Richard Jones is no longer with IFLG.  
From the website:
The International Family Law Group (iFLG) launches at its premises in Covent Garden, London. We are a new specialist law firm providing services to the international community as well as for purely national clients. We have a special contract with the Legal Services Commission for child abduction work and are regularly instructed by the UK Government. We act for international families, ex pats and others in respect of financial implications of relationship breakdown including forum shopping and international enforcement of orders. We receive instructions from foreign lawyers and, as accredited specialists, act for clients of other law firms seeking their specialist experience. unquote

The highlighted passages: 6 weeks old and regularly instructed by the UK Government? 
Also lucky that they specialise in child abduction work. They also advised the McCanns to make Maddie a Ward of Court. 

Asked on the James Whale radio show in October 2007, show how people could contribute to the fund,  Clarence Mitchell said: “Just put money into an envelope and send to Kate and Gerry McCann, Rothley, it’ll get there”. That was unprofessional - monies should have been directed to the registered office for the Fund, namely London Solicitors Bates, Wells & Braithwaite. For example, monies sent in the post could be stolen en route or would not be properly accounted for.

From the newspaper 'Sol'
By Margarida Davim 
07 July 2007

At the entrance of the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz, the journalists who participated in the press conference, that was held by Madeleine's parents for the Portuguese media, encountered a plastic box to collect donations. A small text, signed by Kate and Gerry McCann, invited everyone who entered the resort to contribute. This gesture was not appreciated by the members of staff, who claimed that the resort "is full of collection boxes".