Kate McCann appeals to MPs for support

The possibility of Madeleine McCann being found is improving after Scotland Yard was called in to review the investigation, the young girl's mother Kate McCann claims.

Mrs McCann, whose daughter Madeleine went missing from her family's holiday flat in the Algarve shortly before her fourth birthday, on 3 May 2007 said grieving families should not be left alone to search for their loved ones.

Calling for the government to improve support, she said there was "currently no legislation to protect missing people and their families left behind". Mrs McCann, 43, issued her appeal to ministers yesterday as Scotland Yard continues its review of the investigation into her daughter's disappearance.

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The official Portuguese inquiry was shelved in July 2008, although private detectives employed by the McCanns have continued the search.

"I don't think this should be the role of grieving parents," she said.

But she added that now Scotland Yard was involved, "I feel the chances of her being found are improving".

The lack of support the McCanns received was compounded by a "lack of communication and information", she said.

Human beings are not equipped to deal with such ordeals and more support is crucial if "families are to survive", she said.

"Many people have been worn down by this process because it's absolutely relentless and exhausting."

She said she simply "could not function" when Madeleine went missing.

Mrs McCann, with her voice shaking, was giving evidence to MPs holding an inquiry into the support available for the families of missing people.

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Speaking about her daughter's disappearance, she said: "It was the first time in my life when I felt out of control.

"The sense of helplessness you feel is overwhelming."

Mrs McCann was joined by Nicki Durbin, whose son, Luke, 19, went missing in Ipswich five years ago and Sarah Godwin, whose son, Quentin, was 18 when he went missing in New Zealand in 1992.

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