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PM's Madeleine McCann U-Turn

Original Source: SKY BLOG: 12 MAY 2011
Jon Craig May 12, 2011 9:50 PM

Jon Craig

We've seen some abrupt U-turns by this Prime Minister. But David Cameron's about turn on Madeleine McCann has been particularly swift.

When I reported Kate and Gerry McCann's letter to the PM in the Sun just after 10pm last night, the word from inside No. 10 was that the search for Madeleine was "a matter for the Portuguese authorities".

But by 3.45pm this afternoon, the tone from No. 10 had changed. The PM's spokesman told me: ""We are considering what they have said and will see if there's anything more we can do. We want to help."

Now Scotland Yard's top detectives are to be brought in.

A swift victory for the McCanns!

To be fair, the Prime Minister has written a very sensitive and sympathetic letter to Kate and Gerry.

"Thank you for your heartfelt and moving letter," he writes. "Your ordeal is every parent's worst nightmare and my heart goes out to you both.

"I simply cannot impagine the pain you must have experienced over these four agonising years and the strength and determination you have both shown thoroughout is remarkable.

"I am acutely aware of the frustration you must feel as more time goes by and yet no news is forthcoming.

"We discussed this when we met, but I realise that a further 18 months have gone by since then. That you have been so courageous over all this time and have not given up speaks volumes."

The PM tells the McCanns he hopes this fresh approach will provide the investigation with the new momentum it needs.

So what happened during the 24 hours between the McCanns' letter appearing in the Sun and the latest Prime Ministerial U-turn?

Well, it's not a U-turn, members of the Prime Minister's inner circle insist.

"The PM and the Home Secretary didn't meet today," a senior No. 10 insider tells me. "But it's something he feels strongly about, as does Theresa."

Other Tory insiders who know the PM well tell me he feels strongly for the McCanns because his own children are roughly the same age as Kate and Gerry's.

And of course, as friends of the Prime Minister point out, he knows what it's like to lose a child.


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