Saturday

Sky News: Martin Brunt questions Gordon Brown about involvement in McCann case

Brunt
You seemed at one point, quite early on, to take a personal interest and actually spoke to Mr and Mrs McCann, perhaps on more than one occasion. I just wondered what it was particularly about the parents of Madeleine that so captivated you.

Brown
I think every father and mother in the country felt for the McCanns and for such a thing to happen to any family would be awful and for them to have to go through this is something I felt I was very sorry about and I wanted to convince them that we were doing everything in our power given that we were not the investigators, given that we were not the police authorities to help them through this difficult time.

I talked initially to the relatives of the McCanns and then I talked to Mr. McCann himself and I tried to reassure them that we were doing everything we can.


Did you know them, was it the Scottish connection?

I hadn't known them before but I knew I knew them, I did know. They came obviously through, through, through those people but obviously for the parents it's the worse nightmare. (He stuttered very, very badly over this question.)

Gerry McCann said recently, I think, that if Madeleine had disappeared in Britain he felt the family would know the answer about what had happened to her. Now British police aren't always wonderful but it struck me on a number of vists out there that if she had disappeared in a tsunami or an earthquake Britain would send all its experts to help out. Why can't we on those occasions like her disappearance send our top detectives, who did offer to go. But, what are the protocols that stop it happening on those occasions?

You may be right. I talked to the Portuguese Prime Minister about this and we offered expert people from Britain, some of the offers were actually taken up, but not, because at the end of the day it was a police investigation of the Portuguese authorities. But I know the Prime Minister of Portugal well and he was concerned to assure us that everything possible was being done. You couldn't speculate about what might have happened in different authorities where there are different borders and we just do not know yet what actually happened. But what I do know is that the sympathies of the people of Britain are with a family who undergoes something that you hope never happens to you.

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You know that the sympathies of the people of Britain are with the family? A little out of touch with reality aren't you - as usual.
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audio version of conversation here
Discussion here