Crucially, amongst other issues, the inquiry will look into the original police investigations
" Home Office response
17 October 2011
Thank you for your letter of 3 August 2011 to the Home Secretary on behalf of [redacted] who expresses concern about the continuing role of the Metropolitan Police into the review into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann following the phone hacking scandal. I am replying as the Minister responsible for policy in this area. I apologise for delay in this reply.
Ensuring the integrity of our police is vital for their work and as [redacted] indicates, any allegations of corruption or favouritism undermines public confidence in whichever police force those officers belong to, and in policing as a whole. That is why this government will not stand idly by following the recent events. The Prime Minister announced an independent inquiry in July which will be led by Lord Leveson. ...... "
Crucially, amongst other issues, the inquiry will look into the original police investigations and their failings, the issue of corrupt payments to police officers and the implications of all this for relations between police and the press. The Home Secretary has also asked Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary to provide her with recommendations for improving police integrity and the Independent Police Complaints Commission for a report on their experience of corruption in the police. And we are considering what other powers may be needed to investigate institutional failings in a force or forces.
Turning to the case of Madeleine McCann more specifically, it might be helpful if I clarify the Government's role in this matter. Since Madeleine's disappearance in Portugal some four years ago, the Portuguese authorities have retained the lead in this case. However, the Government has continued to liaise with them and the police here have been following up any leads and passing information on to the Portuguese authorities as appropriate.
In view of the passage of time since Madeleine disappeared, in May, the Home Secretary with the Prime Minister's support, asked the Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to bring its particular expertise and know-how to the case which might help provide a fresh perspective and suggest lines of inquiry which might usefully be pursued. In the light of the request, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner took the operational decision to review the evidence relating to the case. That work is underway and is part of the UK's continuing contribution to the search for Madeleine. The MPS have continued to update the Home Secretary on progress with the review and despite recent events involving the MPS and the allegations of phone hacking, we are satisfied that it is appropriate that they continue to take this forward.
[redacted] also expressed concern about government funding being directed to the review. The nature and scope of the work will depend on their operational assessment by the MPS of how best their expertise might be used in taking forward the search for Madeleine. That work is ongoing and it is not possible at this stage to estimate how long the review will take or the likely costs. The Home Office will provide necessary funding and this will be subject to the Home Office and the MPS reviewing together the value and cost of the work at each stage. While Madeleine remains missing we will continue to do what we can in the search for her.
[redacted] suggests that the results of the review and associated costs are published. Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 the public has a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities. It also sets out exemptions from that right and places a number of obligations on public authorities. The Act applies to the vast majority of public authorities in the United Kingdom, including the MPS. Therefore, [redacted] is free to submit a request to the MPS for information relating to this case.