since Madeleine McCann went missing, the nation has been
united behind efforts to find her.
sympathy for her parents Kate and Gerry has crumbled after
Portuguese police formally named them as suspects earlier
columnist Jon Gaunt has been one of the McCannsí most
outspoken critics. On Monday he accused them of manipulating
the media and behaving irresponsibly.
Meanwhile, fellow Sun writer and TV presenter Lorraine Kelly
has been fighting in the opposite corner as one of their
Here, the pair go head to head to debate the case.
Watch highlights from the debate
JON GAUNT: Lorraine, youíre a mother, I am a father. You
would never leave your kids home alone, would you?
LORRAINE KELLY: No, I would not. The McCanns made a mistake.
But donít you think they are saying that to themselves every
minute of every day?
They made the biggest mistake of their lives and now they
are paying for it in the most horrible way.
would accept that if it was just a one-off, but it wasnít.
It was a pattern of behaviour, they were doing it all the
LK: It is
not something I would have done. I would have been too
worried about my child waking up, but no one knows that
better than them.
on, this was a middle-class couple, one is a cardiologist,
the other a locum GP. Kate McCann is exactly the sort of
woman who would sit in judgement of other people. If it was
a working-class family on a caravan holiday in Blackpool,
the press would be pouring a bucketload over them.
they have been criticised. Now what we have to do is get
back to the fact that Maddie is still missing.
JG: But they still havenít actually
said ?We were wrongí. They left young twins and a
three-year-old girl in a room alone. Sorry, theyíre bad
donít think they are, look what they are going through.
just feel sorry for them. I feel sympathy too, and I am sure
a lot of Sun readers do. But you canít confuse sympathy and
If people really supported them there
would be more than £1.2million in that fund. When I
criticised the McCanns in my column I had the biggest
reaction I have ever had, and 98 per cent of people were
saying I was right. That they are bad parents.
I have found the majority of feedback in my postbag is
positive. The McCanns have been criticised for using the
media. But if your child was missing, wouldnít you do
everything you could to get them back? Surely we canít give
them stick for that?
they are innocent.
believe they are innocent. No doubt.
they are suspects. That puts a question mark over them for
term suspect means something different in Portugal and that
has been the trouble all along. And all this secrecy means
information has oozed out as rumours. I donít believe they
have anything to do with the disappearance.
just donít want to believe it. You are reacting like a
typical mother, you donít want it to be true.
thereís no real evidence, Jon. The McCanns have an
explanation for every single bit of so-called evidence.
accept that, and none of us know the truth. But the
Portuguese police arenít the only ones briefing the press,
the McCanns are too. Kate has got herself in trouble by
talking about what questions sheís been asked.
choked on my Alpen on Sunday when I was saw Sky News and the
McCanns let the press follow them walking to Mass. That
wasnít about Maddie, it was them trying to prove their
Because they have been accused on one of the most heinous
crimes possible and they have to try to clear their names.
way to do that is in a court of law, it isnít to leak
Something has been worrying me. Four years ago there was
another little girl who disappeared in that area. The police
officer in charge of the Maddie investigation allegedly beat
a confession out of the mother.
has been a little girl missing already, and now there is
another. If we put the focus on the McCanns, we will lose
sight of who really did this. They are still out there.
agree, so letís get the McCanns in court as soon as possible
and find out what is happening and move on.
there isnít enough evidence. As the days go by, the rag, tag
and bobtail evidence is falling apart.
are still certain questions Kate has not answered. For
example, why did she wash Cuddle Cat?
Because it was dirty.
come on. My daughter Bethany has a toy called Dotty. If, God
forbid, she went missing, we would never ever wash it
because it would smell of her. Why didnít they use a baby
sitter? Kate apparently didnít want to leave the kids with a
stranger, but she was happy to leave them alone with the
we all watch CSI and want cases neatly wrapped up. But life
isnít like that. There could be many reasons for that DNA in
the boot. And as for that nonsense that they drugged their
child. . .
about the excuses they are coming out with, that the hair
could come from a hairbrush. Iím not saying they are guilty
or innocent. Iím saying get them in court to find out.
would put them through that, two people who have lost their
daughter and have nothing to do with it?
donít know that.
Everybody keeps having a go at the McCanns for not showing
enough emotion, as if everyone deals with grief in exactly
the same way.
that behind closed doors they are sobbing their hearts out.
think there is serious concern about the twins. I think that
social services should intervene. They are suspects, after
the press are being racist implying, ?These Portuguese
coppers donít know what they are doingí.
didnít mean that, I meant in Portuguese law being a suspect
means a totally different thing to here.
think the best thing the McCanns can do now is shut up. They
should say: ?If you want to charge us, go ahead, but we are
going to hold our council.í
Somewhere out there, there is a person who did something
terrible to that poor girl. And that frightens me.