Much has been said about the influence Gordon Brown had upon the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine Mccann. Certainly the political intervention in this case was something the like of which had never been seen before.
In her diary, Kate McCann wrote:
"WEDNESDAY, MAY 23: Gordon Brown (then Chancellor and PM in waiting) called and spoke with Gerry -very kind and giving encouragement.
Feeling a bit emotional afterwards."
On the 27th May 2007, and with the original source being the Guardian, Brendan de Beer wrote:
"Gordon Brown has personally intervened in the search for missing four-year-old Madeleine McCann after her parents became frustrated by the lack of progress in the police investigation.
After a series of telephone conversations with Madeleine's father, Gerry McCann, in recent days, the Chancellor requested assistance from the Foreign Office and the Home Office. He asked that pressure be brought to bear on the Portuguese authorities to allow more information about the inquiry to be made public.
Gerry and his wife, Kate, have been desperate for a description of a man seen carrying what appears to have been a child on 3 May to be made public, but Portuguese police refused for three weeks because of the country's laws, which forbid the details of an investigation being released.
The Observer understands that Brown gave the McCanns an assurance he would do 'anything he can' to help. The British embassy duly applied pressure on the Portuguese authorities to find more flexibility in their secrecy laws. British ambassador John Buck visited the Algarve last Thursday. A day later Portuguese police made a U-turn and issued a detailed description of the man, said to be white, 35 to 40, 5ft 10in and of medium build, with hair longer around the neck, wearing a dark jacket, light beige trousers and dark shoes.
Asked whether Brown had influenced the decision, Clarence Mitchell, a Foreign Office spokesman for the McCann family in the Algarve, said: 'Draw your own conclusions.' He said in a statement: 'I can confirm that telephone conversations have taken place between Gerry McCann and Chancellor Gordon Brown. During them, Mr Brown offered both Gerry and Kate his full support in their efforts to find Madeleine, although details of the conversations will remain private.''
This efit was of course the man Jane Tanner saw, that sighting eventually amounted to nothing. I find it very strange the McCanns didn't push the Smith sighting with such vigour, but then from all of Tanners many descriptions, none looked like Gerry.
Clarence Mitchell of course denied that any political pressure was being applied on the investigation. In an interview with the very likeable Sandra Felgueiras, Mitchell was adamant that no political interference was taking place.
A rather odd comment to make considering it was Mitchell himself who was sent by the British Foreign office, and who was directly accused of hindering the police investigation. Carlos Anjos, head of the Portuguese police federation said of Mitchell:
"Mr Mitchell wants to discredit the Policia Judiciaria and invent excuses so the McCanns do not come to Portugal to participate in the reconstruction of the night she disappeared."
"He lies with as many teeth as he has in his mouth. Finally we know what side truth is on."
As can be seen here, Clarence with his usual smugness, claims that it was him who was responsible for Gordon Brown contacting the McCanns:
Of course here we have a conundrum, as Jill Renwick, a friend of the McCanns, and also one of the first people the couple phoned with the false tale of the "broken" shutters, claims that she asked John Brown, the brother of Gordon to ask the PM in waiting for his help:
"I stopped him (John Brown) in the street the day afterwards and said, 'These are my friends. Do you think you could speak to Gordon about it?' And he said of course. I don't know if anything came about that way."
What was blatantly obvious though was that Gordon Brown was firmly on the side of the McCanns. He made the following statement that said as much:
"Every parent will be sympathising in their hour of need."
Goncalo Amaral had this to say about the political intervention:
“I don’t regret what I did, I did it with conviction, I did it to defend the investigation model, what a criminal investigation is supposed to be. Earlier, you spoke about the politically correct, the politically correct policeman. It is my understanding that criminal investigations cannot be politically correct, because they can’t be concerned with politics. And what happened, and continues to happen, is that we have to be politically correct, subordinate to the English power. That happens, it happened on the 2nd of October [of 2007] at the Lisbon Treaty, there were discussions between José Sócrates, then prime minister, and Gordon Brown, the English prime minister, who told the newspapers that he had asked the Portuguese prime minister about the [Maddie] case. So even before that it was already a political case. And when politics intrude into a criminal investigation, nothing will end well, whether the criminal investigation relates to a homicide, a burglary, a disappearance, or corruption.”
Relationships appeared to turn sour though, when in an article published by The Daily Mirror, dated Saturday the 20th February, it was reported that:
Kate and Gerry McCann yesterday accused the British Government of hampering the search for their missing daughter. They claim Portuguese cops have leads to Madeleine's disappearance but they have been unable to access them. The couple say despite meetings with Gordon Brown and top UK officials, the three-year investigation has stalled. And they claim red tape is blocking their own inquiries using private detectives. After their successful attempt to maintain a legal ban on publication of a book which claims Madeleine is dead, Gerry, 41, called for a complete review of the case. He said: "There are certainly instances where information we think is very credible and worthy of further investigation has not been actioned.
It seems Kate and Gerry like to live their lives through the press when it suits, and if you dare to not be bending over backwards for them, they'll let the world know in an attempt to gain yet more sympathy.