Madeleine McCann’s parents have spoken out after the Home Office recently confirmed another £150,000 would be granted for the investigation into her disappearance.
It was announced earlier in the week that the government had approved a request from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to extend the funding.
And now a spokesperson for the family has said that Kate and Gerry, both 50, are ‘incredibly grateful’ for the extra budget.
Maddie was just three years old when she went missing from an apartment in May 2007 while on holiday with her family in in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
Since then, £11,600,000 has been spent on the investigation – Operation Grange – which was launched by Scotland Yard in 2011 after a Portuguese enquiry failed. The operation is reportedly following several lines of inquiry.
The funding was due to expire at the end of September this year, meaning the MPS would be unable to continue their investigation.
As such, the Home Office confirmed earlier in the year that they had received – and were considering – a request from the MPS to extend funding until March 2019.
They established that the cost of Operation Grange had been met through Special Grant funding, which is available to police forces when they face ‘significant or exceptional costs’.
The Home Office confirmed that this request had been approved on November 13, with Sky News reporting a spokesperson saying:
We have confirmed that Special Grant funding of £150,000 will be provided to the Metropolitan Police Service for the six-month period to 31 March 2019.
Kate and Gerry, from Rothley in Leicestershire, run an ‘Official Find Madeleine Campaign’ Facebook page to continue the search for Maddie and they occasionally post to it, sending messages of thanks to their followers.
Most recently, a message was posted to the page alongside a picture of the word ‘hope’ from the digital coordinator.
I know it ‘s been a while since I’ve posted. We just want to thank you for continuing to be by our side and keeping Madeleine in your heart. ~FM Digital Coordinator
As reported by The Sun, family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said the McCann’s are ‘incredibly grateful’ for the extra funding.
They are very encouraged that the Met Police still believe there is work left to be done in the search for their daughter and they remain incredibly grateful to the Home Office for providing an extra budget for the investigation.”
The investigation into Maddie’s disappearance also received money in May this year, as the Home Office pledged another cash injection of just over £150,000 into Operation Grange to mark the 11th anniversary.
The Telegraph reported at the time that Home Office Minister of State, Baroness Williams of Trafford, made the following statement:
An application from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) for further Special Grant funding for Operation Grange for 1 April – 30 September 2018 has been received.
This is for an amount similar to the £154,000 granted for the period of 1 October 2017 – 31 March 2018. The MPS has been briefed that its latest application will be granted.
It has been more than 11 years since Madeleine disappeared and she would now be 15; she went missing just days before her fourth birthday.
Since her disappearance, Kate and Gerry have never lost hope that they will find their eldest daughter and continue their search for her.
Our thoughts are with the family of Madeleine McCann.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).