Tuesday, 1 December 2015


It’s a little quiet on the blogs and forums these days, so when I came across these little gems I
thought I’d share them.  The Leveson Inquiry was full on interesting moments and also
embarrassing moments:

Such as the one where Leveson was forced to ask Rebekah Brooks whether, as reported, she threatened her friend Cameron with 'a week of bad headlines' about Theresa May, his Home Secretary, if he didn't agree immediately to a multi-million pound Review into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, preferably to be announced on the same date, 12th May 2011, as Dr Kate McCann's book, 'madeleine', was published.

The exchange below starts more or less in the middle of the questioning of Rebekah Brooks, the preceding paragraphs explain how the McCanns came to have the book serialised by the Sun, although Ms Brooks could not for the life of her remember if it had set them back by half a million or a million pounds. Never mind, she must have helped with the  ‘Open Letter’ (1) I feel, so neatly phrased as it is.


7   Q.  Let's see whether we can agree or disagree on what may


             8       have happened.  When you were discussing the


             9       arrangements with the McCanns, you asked if there was


            10       anything more they wanted.  Do you recall that?


            11   A.  Maybe, yes.


            12   Q.  And Dr Gerry McCann said that he wanted a UK police


            13       review of the case.  Do you remember him saying?


            14   A.  That I do, yes.


            15   Q.  Do you remember your answer being: "Is that all?"


            16   A.  I may have said it slightly more politely: "Is there


            17       anything else before we conclude this meeting?", but --


            18       I don't particularly remember saying that, but maybe


            19       I did, yes.


            20   Q.  I'm not suggesting to you that it was impolite; I'm just


            21       summarising the gist of what you said.


            22   A.  Maybe, yes.  We had been going through a list of issues


            23       that Dr McCann and Kate McCann wanted to be assured of


            24       before we went forward with the serialisation, so


            25       possibly.










            1   Q.  Did you then take the matter up with Downing Street


             2       direct?


             3   A.  No.


             4   Q.  Did you not tell Downing Street that the Sun was going


             5       to demand a review and the Prime Minister should agree


             6       to the request because the Sun had supported him at the


             7       last election?


             8   A.  No, in fact I didn't speak to Downing Street or the Home


             9       Secretary about this, but I know that Dominic Mohan or


            10       Tom Newton Dunn will have spoken to them.


            11   Q.  Pardon me?


            12   A.  They would have spoken directly to either Number 10 or


            13       the Home Office.  I'm not sure.  You'll have to ask


            14       them.  Probably the Home Office, I would have thought.


            15   Q.  That the Sun wanted an immediate result and that


            16       a letter would be posted all over the front page from


            17       the McCanns to the Prime Minister asking for a review,


            18       unless Downing Street agreed.  Did that happen?


            19   A.  I think that's how the Sun launched the campaign from


            20       memory.  It was with a letter, yes.


            21   Q.  The Home Secretary was told that if she agreed to the


            22       review, the page 1 letter would not run.  Do you


            23       remember that?


            24   A.  No, I don't.


            25   Q.  But as the Secretary of State did not respond in time,










             1       you did publish the letter on the front page.  Do you


             2       remember that?


             3   A.  I do remember the Sun kicking off the campaign with


             4       a letter, yes.


             5   Q.  But you don't believe there was any conversation or


             6       indeed threat to the Secretary of State?  Is that right?


             7   A.  I'm pretty sure there would have not been a threat, but


             8       you'll have to -- we'll have to ask Dominic Mohan,


             9       because, like I said, my involvement was to discuss the


            10       campaign in the continued search for Madeleine with the


            11       McCanns and to do the deal on the book and to -- they --


            12       because I had done so many campaigns in the past, they


            13       wanted my opinion, but after that I left it to both


            14       editors to execute the campaign.


            15   Q.  What I've been told is that you then intervened


            16       personally, Mrs Brooks.  You told Number 10 that unless


            17       the Prime Minister ordered the review by the


            18       Metropolitan Police, the Sun would put the Home


            19       Secretary, Theresa May, on the front page every day


            20       until the Sun's demands were met.  Is that true or not?


            21   A.  No.


            22   Q.  Is any part of that true?


            23   A.  I didn't speak to Number 10 or the Home Office about the


            24       McCanns until, I think, after the campaign had been won,


            25       and then it came up in a conversation that I had -- and





Our Letter to David Cameron, 11 May, 2011

Dear Prime Minister,

As a devoted father and family man, you know the importance of children. Our beloved eldest child, Madeleine, was abducted from Praia da Luz, Portugal, four years ago. Since then, we have devoted all our energies to ensuring her safe return.

Today we are asking you - and the British and Portuguese governments - to help find Madeleine and bring her back to her loving family.

We live in hope that Madeleine will be found alive and returned to us. One call might be all that is needed to lead to Madeleine and her abductor.

To this end, we are seeking a joint INDEPENDENT, TRANSPARENT and COMPREHENSIVE review of ALL information held in relation to Madeleine's disappearance. Thus far, there has been NO formal review of the material held by the police authorities - which is routine practice in most major unsolved crimes.

It is not right that a young vulnerable British citizen has essentially been given up on. This remains an unsolved case of a missing child. Children are our most precious gift.

Please don't give up on Madeleine.

Kate & Gerry McCann

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