The purpose of this site is for information and a record of Gerry McCann's Blog Archives. As most people will appreciate GM deleted all past blogs from the official website. Hopefully this Archive will be helpful to anyone who is interested in Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann. Many Thanks, Pamalam

Note: This site does not belong to the McCanns. It belongs to Pamalam. If you wish to contact the McCanns directly, please use the contact/email details    

Esther McVey *


Esther McVey

Esther McVey is a long-time friend of Kate McCann and was spokesperson for Madeleine's Fund from its launch in May 2007.

Esther and Kate first met in 1986, when they were both 18, at the North East Technical College in West Derby [in Liverpool], where they were studying A-levels together.

She joined the board of Madeleine's Fund on 20 June 2007 and continued her role as spokesperson for the Fund until her resignation, announced in January 2008.

Ms McVey has remained resolutely tight-lipped as to the reason, or reasons, behind her resignation - a rather ironic position, considering her former roles in the media/PR. She is currently the Conservative MP for Wirral West and the minister for disabled people.

Her own website, on which she once displayed an online petition in support of the McCanns, now contains no mention of Madeleine McCann at all.

Brief background to Esther McVey

About Esther McVey (2007)
Esther McVey
Age: 40, single, no children.
Profession: The formerGMTV presenter and TV and radio personality scaled down her media career seven years ago in favour of taking a greater role in her family's construction company and launching a women's business network.
Constituency: WirralWest.
Hope of victory: She cut Labour's majority in her constituency to 1,000 at the last Election.
New Tory credentials: Her background is hardly Tory - her grandfathers were a docker and a railway worker. But she says: "My inspiration is William Hesketh Lever, the Merseyside soap baron who became one of the greatest philanthropists. His was truly compassionate Conservatism."
(Source: Daily Mail 19 November 2007)
Winning Women
Esther McVey was educated at Belvedere School Liverpool before going to Queen Mary and Westfield University London to study law then City University to do a post graduate course in Radio Journalism before working in the media both as producer and presenter, hosting shows such as GMTV, BBC1's The Heaven and Earth Show , Holiday and BBC1's How do they do that? Channel 4's legal series ‘Nothing But The Truth' BBC2's award winning current affairs programme Reportage… BBC1's Holiday Show as well as consumer series the Really Useful Show and Buying Properties Abroad Series among others….
Esther has debated at Oxford University and even performed The Vagina Monologues at the Empire Theatre Liverpool…. Had her own talk show on Radio 5
Esther McVey is managing director of Making It (UK) Ltd with offices in Liverpool and London. See website - click here
Making It specialises in communications, public relations, media training and presentational skills.
Esther is a consultant to several tv companies and works with Sky news, ITV and BBC has her own column locally in the Echo.
Esther is also on the board of directors for a national radio station.
(Source: Winning Women, The fastest growing women’s business networking in the North West created by Esther McVey)
About Esther - Parliamentary Candidate
About Esther
Aged 38, Esther was born and brought up in Liverpool and educated at Belvedere school before going to Queen Mary and Westfield University to study law. After graduating in law she did a post graduation course in radio journalism before embarking on a successful career in the media, both as a presenter and producer. Esther lives in West Kirby and is a director of the family construction company J.G. McVey and Co Ltd, which is based in Liverpool.
Esther is Managing Director of her own company Making It (UK) Ltd; which specialises in public relations, strategic marketing and founded 'Winning Women' an organisation which helps women set up in business as well as advance on the business ladder, and for which, Esther was nominated for both Merseyside woman of the Year and Cheshire Woman of the Year. Last year Esther developed and opened office and incubator space to help small companies set up in business - receiving acclaim from The Merseyside Entrepreneur Commission.

Esther is patron of 'Wirral Holistic Therapeutic Cancer Care' as well being a patron of 'Full of Life' a charity for disabled children and their families. She is an ambassador for 'Action Medical Research', a charity that funds medical research, and 'Wirral Women and children's Aid'. She is a Governor of West Kirby Primary School and is also active in many residents, traders and community groups.
On the forthcoming campaign Esther said: "I'm really looking forward to the challenge ahead and to continue to work with all the people who have helped me over the last 3 years. The next election will be a challenge and I know I will have to work hard for every vote. There is a 1097 majority to overturn; and I and the team will be working flat out to do just that."
"The people of Wirral West have been badly let down by this Labour Government. As well as highlighting their appalling record I will be putting forward positive solutions and ideas to make Wirral West a better place to live and work. I want to be the champion of all the hard working families, give our children the best start in life and help struggling pensioners to have the dignity and security in retirement they so deserve."

Reports related to Esther McVey and Madeleine McCann

Help Us Find Madeleine, 09 May 2007
This screenshot shows the petition that appeared on Esther McVey's blog from 09 May 2007. The petition has since been removed leaving no reference to Madeleine McCann anywhere on Esther McVey's site.
Help Us Find Madeleine
Esther McVey blog

Posted by esthermcvey2009 in Conservatives.

A petition has started today to lobby the British and Portuguese Governments for greater transparency into the investigation and to push for a dual investigation between the Portuguese and British Authorities.

To sign the on line petition click here   Thank you. Your help and support is greatly needed and appreciated.

For the full story please see today's Daily Post below -

Plea to Government over Madeleine

Plea to Government over Madeleine, 09 May 2007
Plea to Government over Madeleine Liverpool Daily Post (no longer available online)

by Caroline Innes
May 9 2007

THE distraught parents of missing toddler Madeleine McCann yesterday pleaded for the British Government to intervene in the search for their daughter.

Liverpool-born GP Kate McCann and her husband, Gerry, asked the Foreign Office to step in after Portuguese police said for the first time they cannot be sure the three-year-old is alive.

The blow comes amid reports that British authorities have sent all information about paedophiles with links to Portugal, to police in the Algarve where Madeleine was snatched five days ago.

Little information about the investigation has been made public, prompting criticism officers are not doing enough to find the child whose parents this week took it upon themselves to issue a description of the pyjamas she was wearing.

Last night, the British Foreign Office said it was ready to put its full weight behind the investigation, but said its hands were tied unless the Portuguese authorities requested direct assistance.

Close friends of Mrs McCann, who grew up in Allerton and attended the Notre Dame High School, in Everton, have flown out to be with the family in Portugal where they were last night understood to be lobbying the British authorities.

At home, Wirral TV businesswoman and broadcaster Esther McVey, who became friends with Mrs McCann while they were studying A-levels together in 1986 at the then North East Technical College in West Derby, also called for action.

She launched an on-line petition to call for greater transparency in the investigation, and pushed for a dual investigation between the British and the Portuguese authorities.

Friends who are in constant contact with the McCanns said the petition was in line with the couple's wishes.

"This case has touched everybody's heart in every way imaginable. It is not just those of us who know the family who have been affected by this," said Miss McVey.

On Saturday, Portugal judicial police said they believed that Madeleine was still alive but, yesterday, Chief Inspector Sousa admitted: "We have no facts to sustain that the child is alive or not.

"We are searching for the child until the moment she appears. We can say nothing more because we are not magicians."

The toddler disappeared on Thursday night while she was left with her brother and sister, two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie, in a holiday apartment in the luxury resort of Praia da Luz.

Her parents, who live in Leicestershire, had been dining in a nearby restaurant and were checking on them regularly.

Madeleine was wearing white pyjama bottoms with a small floral design and a short-sleeved pink top with a picture of the character Eeyore, from AA Milne's Winnie the Pooh books, on it when she vanished.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said staff were in constant contact with the McCanns and would offer whatever support and expertise they could – but the Portuguese authorities had to ask for it.

He added: "We have three family liaison officers from Leicestershire Constabulary with the family but they are there purely in a supportive role, it is the Portuguese who continue to lead the investigation.

"We have no business interfering with that unless we are asked for help or assistance. We have made a forensic and a behavioural expert available to the Portuguese authorities to ensure they have no gaps in their expertise."

Among those assisting police in Portugal is the retired senior Merseyside police officer who led the James Bulger murder inquiry.

Albert Kirby, the former commander of the Liverpool serious crimes squad, has flown to the Algarve in the hope that his experience could come in useful.

• FOOTBALL superstar Cristiano Ronaldo last night made his own personal appeal for help in tracing Madeleine.The Portuguese Manchester United player made the appeal in English and Portuguese on Sky News and said: "I was very upset to hear of the abduction of Madeleine McCann and I appeal to anyone with information to come forward, please come forward."

• THE petition is now up and running on-line at

New petition at Winning Women, 12 May 2007
New petition at Winning Women Winning Women (petition now removed)
Welcome to Winning Women - Esther McVey's Networking Organisation for Liverpool, Chester, Manchester 
Saturday, 12 May 2007
"This appeal has been sent to the first Lady of Portugal; Mrs Maria Cavaco Silva, as a wife, mother and daughter asking for her personally to make an appeal to every wife, mother and daughter in Portugal to help find Madeleine, to help keep the search and investigation going."

Esther McVey - "I'm a small cog in a giant machine", 22 August 2007
Making sure your money helps Maddie Liverpool Echo
Aug 22 2007
Soon after Madeleine was taken on the night of May 3, people here in Kate McCann’s home city, in Gerry’s home city of Glasgow, in the family home of Leicestershire and elsewhere wanted to do something practical to help – and, within two weeks, the fund had been set up.
In Liverpool, businesswoman Esther McVey, who became friends with Kate while they were studying at the then North East Technical College in West Derby, became involved. She launched an on-line petition to call for greater transparency in the police investigation, and pushed for a dual investigation between the British and Portuguese authorities.
Meanwhile, Madeleine's Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned Ltd was soon up and running, following initial donations from a group of doctors in Leicestershire.
Countless members of the public also wanted to fund the campaign, which – again, by terrible necessity – had to develop quickly so it could be run as efficiently as possible.
Esther McVey is now one of the fund's six directors, with the others being Peter Hubner, a retired consultant; Brian Kennedy, Madeleine’s great uncle and a retired head teacher; John McCann, Gerry’s brother and a medical representative; Doug Skehan, clinical director in cardiology at Glenfield hospital in Leicester and Philip Tomlinson, a solicitor and former coroner in Leicestershire.
"I'm a small cog in a giant machine," says Esther, who adds: "I knew Kate from the year we were at North East Tech, before I went off to do law and she went off to study medicine at university.
"We had a brilliant year and we were good mates. I lived in Aigburth, Kate lived in Allerton and we knocked about together."
Madeleine's Fund is a non-charitable, not-for-profit company which was established to help find Madeleine, to support her family and to bring her abductors to justice. Any surplus funds will be used to help families and missing children in the UK, Portugal and elsewhere in similar circumstances.
Since Madeleine's abduction, awareness of cases of child abduction and exploitation has greatly increased and Esther McVey says: "Madeleine is very much a beacon, who has shone a light into the very dark area of child abduction and missing children."
It has been reported that Kate and Gerry could be preparing to return home to Leicestershire next month, partially for financial reasons as they have refused to use the fund to help pay their living expenses.
According to reports, only 67,000 of the fund has been spent with the McCanns, themselves, having only claimed expenses for flights and accommodation on campaign-related trips and for stationery to make posters – although many people who have made donations would no doubt want and expect Kate and Gerry to use the money to go towards their living expenses while they are in Portugal.
Meanwhile, Esther McVey points out that invoices are continually coming in for various things including, for example, lawyers' services. As a result, she says it's difficult to give current numbers regarding monies spent, but says: "It’s significantly more than the quoted figure."
But while the campaign can be as well-organised as possible, no one can say what direction it will take next: "This is completely unchartered territory and, as such, things are unpredictable and there is no pattern," adds Esther.
Kate and Gerry McCann, their families, friends and supporters across the world, however, can at least tell themselves they are leaving no stone unturned.

Esther McVey talks of 'best practice charity laws', 27 August 2007
Madeleine: Now Portuguese press claims scent of corpse was found on McCann's keys Daily Mail
Last updated at 00:42 27 August 2007
Former GMTV presenter Esther McVey, who runs her own PR consultancy and is the Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for Wirral West, is among the directors as is Mr McCann's brother, 48-year-old pharmaceutical sales rep John McCann, and Mrs McCann's uncle Brian Kennedy, 68, a retired headteacher.
Retired hospital consultant Peter Hubner, 64, hospital director Douglas Skehan, 54, and former Leicestershire coroner Philip Tomlinson, 76, are the other directors of the fund, set up within two weeks of Madeleine's disappearance on May 3.
Ms McVey said: "The McCanns very much know and are aware of how the money had come together. They know it's from pensioners and kids in schools and they want it spent as carefully as possible. Because we're a not-for-profit limited company they are very much aware that we abide by the best practice charity laws."

Esther McVey press conference about non-payment of legal defence costs, 12 September 2007
Esther McVey press conference about non-payment of legal defence costs

From Telejornal, RTP1, September 12 2007


By Nigel Moore

Esther McVey: The Fund directors have decided not to pay for Kate and Gerry's legal defence costs.

We stress that Gerry and Kate have not asked for those costs to be paid. However, people have already called in offering their financial support.

Any such fund, to pay legal defence costs, would have to be separately set up and administered.

Finally, I want to say, from all of us, at the heart of this campaign and Fund is a little girl. A little girl who is no doubt confused, lonely and in desperate need of her parents.

The Fund's money will be focussed on finding Madeleine and leaving no stone unturned.

McCanns won't tap Madeleine fund to pay legal bills, 12 September 2007
McCanns won't tap Madeleine fund to pay legal bills Reuters


Statement from Esther McVey:

Madeleine's Fund was set up to: Find Madeleine; support the family and bring the abductor or abductors to justice; and, subject to that, help other missing children.

With the sudden, dramatic, and unexpected turn of events at the weekend, the directors had to consider whether legal defence costs could be paid by the fund.

The board has taken advice from Bates Wells & Braithwaite London LLP and Christopher McCall QC.

The board has been advised that payment of Gerry and Kate's legal defence costs would be legally permissable subject to conditions about repayment in the event of a guilty conviction.

The directors of the fund discussed this today.

The 2 family directors, Brian Kennedy and John McCann, withdrew from the meeting when the decision was made.

I chaired that meeting.

The fund directors realise there is not only a legal answer but recognise too the spirit which underlies the generous donations to Madeleine's Fund, which it's the directors responsibility to steer.

For this reason, the fund directors have decided not to pay for Kate and Gerry's legal defence costs.

[The following is taken from the video of Esther McVey's statement, see above:

We stress that Gerry and Kate have not asked for those costs to be paid. However, people have already called in offering their financial support.

Any such fund, to pay legal defence costs, would have to be separately set up and administered.

Finally, I want to say, from all of us, at the heart of this campaign and Fund is a little girl. A little girl who is no doubt confused, lonely and in desperate need of her parents.

The Fund's money will be focussed on finding Madeleine and leaving no stone unturned.]

McCanns won't tap fund to pay legal bills, 12 September 2007
McCanns won't tap fund to pay legal bills Reuters

LONDON | Wed Sep 12, 2007 11:52pm BST

(Reuters) - The parents of missing girl Madeleine McCann will not pay their rising legal bills with money from a public fund set up to help find their daughter, a family spokesman said on Wednesday.

Gerry and Kate McCann have raised a million pounds from well-wishers since launching the fund in May after the 4-year-old went missing while on holiday in Portugal.

"We are not seeking support from the fund," spokesman David Hughes told reporters outside the McCanns' family home in Rothley, Leicestershire.

The couple do not want to upset people who think the money should not be used to pay their legal bills, he added.

The fund's trustees said they had decided not to allow the money to be used to pay lawyers' fees, despite receiving expert advice that it would have been legal.

"The fund's directors realised there is not only a legal answer, but recognised too the spirit which underlies the generous donations to Madeleine's fund," Esther McVey, one of the fund's directors, told a news conference.

"For this reason, the fund's directors have decided not to pay for Gerry and Kate's legal defence costs."

The McCanns, both 39, returned to England on Sunday after detectives in Portugal questioned them for hours as formal suspects in the case.

On Tuesday, Portugal's public prosecutor passed the case against them to a criminal judge who will decide whether there are grounds for charges.

The judge can decide whether there is enough evidence for a trial or reject the case for having insufficient evidence.

The file includes the results of forensic tests of evidence taken from sites in the Praia da Luz resort where Madeleine vanished and details of police interviews with the McCanns.

The forensic evidence may clear up whether Madeleine's DNA was found in a car hired by the McCanns after she disappeared, as several newspapers have reported.

The couple have repeatedly denied any involvement in the disappearance of their daughter.

On his blog, Gerry McCann said: "We have absolute confidence that, when all of the facts are presented together, we will be able to demonstrate that we played absolutely no part in Madeleine's abduction."

Madeleine Fund Won't Pay For Legal Costs, 13 September 2007
Madeleine Fund Won't Pay For Legal Costs Sky News

8:11am UK, Thursday 13 September 2007

Money from the Find Madeleine campaign will not be used to fund Kate and Gerry McCann's legal costs, the trustees have announced.

They announced the decision after discussing the matter at a special meeting.

The McCanns had already said they would not use the cash - more than £1m - to pay any legal bills, even if the trust had let them.

But the trustees decided to meet anyway to consider whether the money could be used in principle.

Fund director Esther McVey said the decision had been taken despite legal advice that it would be legally permissible to use the money for a legal defence.

She said the trustees understood that as well as a "legal answer" there was a "spirit which underlies the generous donations to Madeleine's fund", which it was their responsibility to steer.

Ms McVey thanked contributors to the fund for their kindness, support and generosity, and then explained that the fund had been set up to find Madeleine, support the McCanns and bring the abductor to justice.

She stressed that the McCanns had not asked to use the money to pay for their legal costs, and went on to say that any future fund set up to pay such costs would have to be separately administered.

A family spokesman earlier confirmed the McCanns would not seek to use the money to pay their legal bills.

He spoke out shortly before the McCanns left their home in Rothley, Leicestershire, for a short trip to a nearby park.

Gerry McCann drove the family's turquoise Volkswagen people carrier while his wife sat in the middle seat in the back, in between their two-year-old twins.

The couple are facing mounting costs after being named suspects in relation to Madeleine's disappearance in Portugal on May 3.

They have appointed top lawyers in case they are charged by Portuguese police.

Tory hopeful McVey facing tough battles on two fronts, 14 September 2007
Tory hopeful McVey facing tough battles on two fronts Independent
By Henry Deedes
Friday, 14 September 2007
The glamorous former GMTV presenter Esther McVey is currently embroiled in two Herculean battles.
McVey, right, a former regular on the BBC show Heaven and Earth, is in the news as she is handling PR for the Madeleine Fund, which was set up to help pay for the McCanns' search for their daughter. She is also trying to become a Tory MP.
McVey is down to stand for the Conservatives at the next election in the marginal seat of Wirral West, which she narrowly failed to win in 2005 by just over 1,000 votes. "Yes, she's definitely standing there again," says a Tory spokesman. "She was actually re-selected pretty quickly after the last election."
Of course her involvement in the McCann saga could prove problematic, not just if things get worse for the McCanns in the press over the next few days. If Gordon Brown were to call a snap election in the autumn, she'd also be forced to chose between the two jobs. What to do?
"There is a worry her involvement could harm her election prospects," acknowledges one Conservative HQ insider. "Obviously no one at party HQ will directly speak to Esther about this as they won't want to be seen to be interfering in such a sensitive issue."
Should Esther finally be elected, it would mark a touching reunion with her former boyfriend and current Shadow Culture Minister Ed Vaizey. McVey once divulged that the now happily married Ed used to propose to her "every two weeks".
Comment: This article is interesting because it states that Esther is 'handling PR for the Madeleine Fund'. This would appear to suggest that her involvement in Madeleine's Fund ran deeper than simply being the spokesperson. If that was the case, did she receive payment from the Fund for PR services or were they provided free - with the result that Esther was left out of pocket?

Esther McVey fails to return calls on website costs, 15 September 2007
Millions have contacted the Madeleine McCann appeal website. Who runs it? Three teenagers from Ullapool Sunday Herald
15 September 2007
Calum, who has designed websites "since he was 10" is paid out of the global donations to the fund, which won't be contributing to the McCanns' legal costs.
He refused to be drawn on how much his team of six are paid, and the Sunday Herald's repeated calls to the fund's spokeswoman, Esther McVey, were not returned. He added: "I can't tell you that, it's not much honestly. We are just covering our costs. You would need to speak to the fund about that."

'£300,000 spent' on search for Madeleine, 26 September 2007
'£300,000 spent' on search for Madeleine Liverpool Daily Post
By Tim Walsh, PA
Sep 26 2007 
And this afternoon, the Fund’s board of directors - comprising colleagues, friends and relatives - met in the couple's home county of Leicestershire to decide how to use the money.
The exact figures for what the donations are spent on will not be disclosed until the end of the financial year when the accounts are made public, said director Esther McVey.
But the board did reveal that nearly a third of the money collected has already been used.
Costs incurred include the launch of the Find Madeleine campaign, advertising, the production of the yellow and green wristbands and the employment of former campaign manager Justine McGuinness.
Legal fees had to be met for the setting up of Madeleine's Fund.
Private investigators, understood to include ex-military personnel, are being employed to search for the Rothley youngster outside of Portugal.
And with Mr McCann, the family's main earner, on unpaid leave from his job as consultant cardiologist, part of the Fund has been used to meet their living costs.
"I haven't got the exact figure but it is just under £300,000," said Ms McVey, after today's meeting.
On not producing a full breakdown of the costs, she added: "We are doing what every charity does. We are going by best practice charity rules."
A new £80,000 advertising campaign in the area of Portugal, Spain and Morocco, announced earlier this month, was among future costs discussed at the meeting, said co-director John McCann, Mr McCann’s brother.

Billboard and newspaper advertisement campaign represented the single biggest expenditure of the fund to date, 27 September 2007
Spanish tourist's claim of Madeleine sighting in Morocco proves false Guardian
Paul Hamilos in Madrid
Tursday September 27 2007
In a separate development yesterday, the board of the Find Madeleine campaign approved an extensive advertising campaign appealing once again for information about the missing girl. Esther McVeigh, one of the directors, told the Guardian that the 80,000 spent on the billboard and newspaper advertisement campaign represented the single biggest expenditure of the fund to date.
She said that it was likely that the campaign, originally targeted at Spain and Portugal, would be extended to include Morocco, even though the latest sighting appeared not to be Madeleine.

Madeleine's Fund used to pay McCanns mortgage, 30 October 2007
(Full details on the mortgage payments can be found here)
Given that Esther McVey was the official spokesperson for Madeleine's Fund, it is rather curious that Clarence Mitchell was the only one to face the media when details of the mortgage payments broke.
Where was Esther McVey and why did she have nothing to say about payments made from the fund of which she was the official spokesperson? A fund she had previously assured us would be run under 'best practice charity laws'.
It is difficult to imagine any charity sanctioning the release of their funds to meet an individuals mortgage payments.

Fund still going strong, six months on, 05 November 2007
Madeleine McCann: Fund still going strong, six months on Liverpool Daily Post
Nov 05 2007
THE fund set up to help find Madeleine McCann is still receiving wide-spread public support six months after her disappearance, one of the Merseyside-based trustees said last night.
Esther McVey, a former television presenter and Conservative candidate for West Wirral, said controversy surrounding donations being used to pay the McCanns' mortgage had not damaged the Fund's reputation – nor affected the trustee's unwavering goal to track down the missing four-year-old.
Ms McVey, a college friend of Madeleine's Liverpool-born mother, Kate McCann, spoke last night following a service in Liverpool to mark the six-month anniversary of when Madeleine disappeared from the family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
Madeleine's grandparents, Brian and Susan Healy, of Mossley Hill, attended the service at Our Lady of the Annunciation, Bishop Eton, on Saturday.
They said they had again been buoyed and moved by public support and sympathy at the ceremony and, like Ms McVey, said the Madeleine Fund was going from "strength to strength".
Ms McVey added: "The fund is very focused on finding Madeleine.
"We have taken a lot of advice on how to maximise our resources and have drawn up very strategic and focused goals.
"We are paying for additional advertising campaigns in Spain, the Iberian Peninsula, Morocco and of course in Portugal and are seeing very positive steps forward.
"None of this would have been possible without the public support, which has never faltered.
"Kate and Gerry did have two mortgage payments made by the fund, but this stopped when they were made formal suspects.
"I really want to stress that they have never asked for one penny from the fund – despite taking un-paid leave to try and find their daughter.
"Seriously, even when they were in Portugal, they never asked for one penny.
"The trustees are all meeting this week to discuss our next steps and have already seen that the systems we have set up are now starting to work."

Esther McVey resigns - announced 08 January 2008
Kate and Gerry 'plan 2m film deal' as Madeleine Fund dwindles Daily Mail
Last updated at 09:06 09 January 2008
Extract (Third re-write of this article and the current online version):
Mr Mitchell said a book deal was also being considered "at some point down the line". He confirmed reports that one of the directors of the fund, former GMTV presenter Esther McVey, had resigned from the board, but denied it was because of any rift with the McCanns.
He said she wanted to concentrate on her role as a Conservative parliamentary candidate and was also about to start studying for a demanding MBA qualification.
The first version of this article, which appeared on 08 January 2008, was very brief and simply said:
(The film project will be discussed at a meeting of the fund's directors, including Gerry, tomorrow night at the McCanns' home in Rothley, Leicestershire...)
The meeting tomorrow follows the resignation of key board members, including the fund's spokeswoman Esther McVey.
The second version, later that day of 08 January 2008, contained more information and a quote from Clarence Mitchell. This was later removed and rewritten into the article that now appears online, as above. But why were this section and Mr Mitchell's quote removed?: 
Clarence Mitchell later confirmed the reports that Esther McVey had resigned from the board but denied it was because of any rift with the McCanns. He said she wanted to concentrate on her role as a Conservative parliamentary candidate and was also about to start studying for a demanding MBA qualification.

"She has a lot of commitments and realised she could not devote the time she wanted to the fund," he said. "She felt the New Year would be a good time for the change, and spoke to Kate about her decision. Kate and Gerry were disappointed but they both understood her reasons. She is an old friend of Kate's and continues to support the fund."

Mr Mitchell said other directors might also want to "rotate" their position on the board, as it had created a lot more work than was originally anticipated in May.

Oh I say, minister! The photo shoot rising Tory star Esther McVey might rather forget, 11 October 2013
Oh I say, minister! The photo shoot rising Tory star Esther McVey might rather forget Daily Mail
  • Conservative MP posed for a sultry photo shoot back in 1999
  • Photos released not long after she was appointed employment minister
  • Has always displayed a confidence with her slim figure
PUBLISHED: 22:34, 11 October 2013 | UPDATED: 09:29, 12 October 2013

As the newly appointed employment minister, she has succeeded in rising swiftly through the political ranks.

But not so long ago, it seems Esther McVey had little more than bare ambition.

These exclusive photographs, which have never been published before, show the former GMTV presenter in a series of racy poses as she launched her television career.

Wild side: Esther McVey, now a leading MP, strikes a pose in this 1999 photo shoot

Wild side: Esther McVey, now a leading MP, strikes a pose in this 1999 photo shoot

In the past: Former GMTV presenter McVey might want to forget these saucy snaps

In the past: Former GMTV presenter McVey might want to forget these saucy snaps

Miss McVey, 45, this week became Iain Duncan Smith’s number two at the Department for Work and Pensions after impressing the Prime Minister, who also promoted former This Morning presenter and health minister Anna Soubry to his party's front bench at the Ministry of Defence.

Law graduate Miss McVey, who was privately educated at Belvedere Girls' School, in Liverpool, modelled for the saucy photo shoot in 1999, soon after landing the spot on the GMTV sofa that made her a household name.

She did a four-month stint on the breakfast programme alongside Eamonn Holmes while his co-presenter Fiona Phillips was on maternity leave – and declared at the time that she was celibate because the 3.45am starts were not conducive to 'rumpy pumpy'.

Viewers, however, got more than they bargained for when she accidentally flashed her white knickers to the nation thanks to a rather unfortunate camera angle on her first day. And at the photo shoot, Miss McVey was unabashed when it came to showing off her slim figure.

Lady in red: But she forgot to do up her buttons

Lady in red: But she forgot to do up her buttons

Exposed: McVey dons a slinky white dress in this seductive shot

Exposed: McVey dons a slinky white dress in this seductive shot

A source said: 'The pictures were taken when GMTV was at its height really and shoots with the presenters were quite common.

'Esther was the new girl on the sofa and she agreed to do this rather glamorous and sexy shoot in a studio.

'The photographer remembers her being charm personified. She was lovely, very down to earth and really helpful. She loved the shoot and trying all the different outfits on.

'She will probably be a bit embarrassed that the pictures have been unearthed but she shouldn't be, she looks fantastic in them.' Miss McVey went on to front BBC's Heaven and Earth and made a programme for Channel 5 on naturists before deciding to scale down her television career in favour of politics 11 years ago.

Conservative MP Esther McVey

Esther pictured during her political work

Oh I say! As Esther McVey rises through the political ranks, her model shoot may not come at such a good time

Her first shot as a Tory MP failed when she was narrowly defeated in the 2005 General Election. Five years later, however, Miss McVey was victorious and took the Wirral West seat.

She has had relationships with BBC producer Mal Young and Conservative Culture Minister Ed Vaizey, but has never married and is currently single. She now shares a London flat with fellow Tory MP Philip Davies, although the pair insist their relationship is strictly platonic.

The Conservative women on the rise in Cameron's reshuffle, 15 July 2014
The Conservative women on the rise in Cameron's reshuffle BBC News

Esther McVey: She helped her friend Kate McCann set up the Madeleine McCann Fund

The Conservative women on the rise in Cameron's reshuffle
BBC News

15 July 2014 Last updated at 17:34

As David Cameron reshuffles his cabinet, a guide to female Conservative high-fliers who have been given promotions.


Esther McVey

Esther McVey: She helped her friend Kate McCann set up the Madeleine McCann Fund

Age: 46

Liverpool-born, Ms McVey was educated at Belvedere School in the city before studying law at Queen Mary and Westfield University, London, and radio journalism at City University.

Career so far:
Employment minister since the 2013 reshuffle, Ms McVey is a former GMTV presenter and a TV and radio personality. She helped her friend Kate McCann set up the Madeleine McCann Fund and started her own business, providing training and office space for start-up firms. She became MP for Wirral West in 2010, and is the only Tory MP in Merseyside.

What was she tipped for?
If you believed everything you read, Ms McVey could have found herself in any number of roles - ranging from minister without portfolio to work and pensions secretary or culture secretary.

What job did she get?
Despite all the speculation, Ms McVey is remaining in her post as employment minister. However, she will now attend the cabinet in that role.

What do her supporters say?
Former Culture Secretary Maria Miller says: "Esther is working the department that I used to work in with Iain Duncan Smith and I think has proven herself to be a formidable advocate for employment and the employment programmes that are going forward. I would imagine she will continue to rise on up with her credentials and her clear talent."

Personal life:
Unmarried and without children, Ms McVey shares a London flat with fellow Conservative MP Philip Davies.

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files


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