has explained exactly why he and
are suing a
Parents were offended by article
Portuguese newspaper over "lurid allegations" about their
The Tal & Qual newspaper published a front-page headline
suggesting that Portuguese police think the McCanns killed
The couple have now instructed their
lawyers to take action
against the newspaper for defamation over the story it
printed on August 24.
Explaining their decision, Mr McCann said: "As well as
damaging our personal and professional reputations, such
allegations smear the investigation, the campaign to find
Madeleine and cause great offence and anxiety to all our
"This is why, after careful consideration, we have issued a
writ against the newspaper for defamation.
"Our focus has, and always will be, on doing our best to
help find Madeleine.
"This lurid allegation is so serious and wide of the mark
that we feel it cannot go unchallenged."
They couple have always said they would not jeopardise the
by talking too much about it in public.
But Mr McCann admitted they found it difficult to keep quiet
in the face of slurs about their behaviour on the night
The McCanns were so angry at the Tal & Qual story they felt
they had no choice but to take legal action.
"We firmly believe that the report was speculative,
defamatory and published despite official statements to the
contrary," Madeleine's father wrote on his blog.
He confirmed the legal expenses for the case will not be
paid for out of the