On May 16, 2007, Philomena McCann visited the British Government in Westminster, London. Notably she visited the Chancellor, Gordon Brown. Brown’s involvement has never been fully explained and four years on, the McCann family has never divulged what their personal relationship was with the man who was to become the British Prime Minister a month later.
On the same day in Leicester at the Walkers Stadium, the official Madeleine Fund (Madeleine’s Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned Limited) was being launched in a blaze of glory featuring professional rugby player Martin Johnson. The nucleus of the first directors of the company were in attendance – Kate’s uncle Brian Kennedy, John McCann, Esther McVey and Doug Skehan.
The following day in the McCanns’ village of Rothley, Gerry McCann’s mother Ellen stood by the War Memorial that was awash with flowers and messages of support for the McCann family. Ellen applauded the help given by Gerry’s boss Doug Skehan and she added that Gerry had been uplifted in Portugal because the fund had started.
Brian Kennedy also gave an interview at the Rothley War Memorial on May 17, 2007. This time he was eager to tell us how to donate money to the “Fund” via two banks – the Nat West and the Royal Bank of Scotland. He also told us what the money would be used for:
“Mainly for legal expenditure”
As this was the first raison d’etre for the Madeleine Fund, and confirmed nationally by one of its directors, we can conclude that the Madeleine Fund was set up to provide legal funds for the McCanns.
At no time at all did Brian Kennedy state that the money was to be used to finance the search for Madeleine.