Home World Newspaper headlines: New suspect in Madeleine McCann case ‘biggest break yet’

Newspaper headlines: New suspect in Madeleine McCann case ‘biggest break yet’

Daily Express 4 June

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The news that a new suspect has been identified in the case of Madeleine McCann, 13 years after she disappeared in Portugal, makes several front pages. The Daily Express says the new “prime suspect” is a 43-year-old German man who was known to be in Praia da Luz when the girl disappeared. The blond-haired suspect had a 30-minute phone conversation with a “mystery caller” the night Madeleine went missing, the paper adds.

Daily Telegraph 4 June

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The Daily Telegraph says friends of Kate and Gerry McCann have called the new line of inquiry the biggest development in the case since Madeleine went missing 13 years ago. The Telegraph reports that the suspect is a “multiple” child sex offender serving a lengthy jail term, and he first came to the attention of Metropolitan Police officers after the 10-year anniversary appeal in 2017. It is understood that British and German police have interviewed the suspect in jail but he has declined to help with their inquiries, the paper adds.

Daily Mail

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The Daily Mail calls the new development a “bombshell”, and poses the question: “Have they found the man who took Maddie?” The paper says the suspect was renting a “ramshackle farm building” two miles from Praia da Luz where the McCann family were staying. German police also suggested there may have been other people involved who are still at large, the paper adds.

The Sun 4 June

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The Sun also poses a question in its headline, asking whether a yellow and white VW camper van linked to the suspect was used in Madeleine’s disappearance. The paper devotes several pages to the new development, and also focuses on the “mystery call” the suspect received on his mobile an hour before the three-year-old vanished.

i newspaper

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The i newspaper says police have released mobile phone numbers in a bid to “pin down” the suspect’s movements. It also reports that Madeleine’s parents have welcomed the new development and said they “will never give up hope” of finding her alive but “whatever the outcome may be, we need to know”.

Daily Star 4 June

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The Daily Star describes the suspect – who has not been named by police – as a “German drifter”. It reports that Scotland Yard is launching a joint appeal with German and Portuguese police with a £20,000 reward for information that leads to the conviction of the person responsible for Madeleine’s disappearance.

Daily Mirror 4 June

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Like many papers, the Daily Mirror shows a photo of the suspect’s camper van, one of two vehicles linked to him that police want more details about.

The Times 4 June

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The Times also reports on the case, saying German police believe the suspect broke into the McCanns’ holiday apartment and spontaneously committed the kidnapping. But its top story is on Boris Johnson’s plan to quarantine everyone entering the UK for two weeks from Monday. Leading scientists have warned the plan makes “no sense”, the Times says, adding the government’s group of scientific advisers were not consulted on the decision.

Metro newspaper 4 June

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The Metro’s front page leads with a grim statistic, reporting that the number of people who have died in the UK with coronavirus has now reached 50,000. The paper says the total comes after new figures from Scotland were released and added to the data from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The paper says Prime Minister Boris Johnsons insisted he was “very proud” of the government’s handling of the virus.

The Guardian 4 June

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Several papers, including the Guardian, picture actor John Boyega at a protest in London showing support for US demonstrations over the death of George Floyd. The paper’s top story says the government’s push to reopen primary schools in England on Monday “has fallen flat”, saying figures show thousands of schools did not open. In large parts of the north-east of England, not a single primary school opened, the paper says.

Financial Times

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The Financial Times reports that the government is struggling to rebuild stockpiles of medicine that have been depleted due to the pandemic. According to the paper, a senior official said Health Secretary Matt Hancock has agreed that a stockpiling plan needs to be fixed by the end of June, in case a Brexit trade deal is not reached by the end of the transition period at the end of this year.

The instantly recognisable face of missing three-year-old Madeleine McCann appears on most of the front pages. 

The Daily Mail dedicates 11 pages to the announcement that a German man has been identified as the prime suspect in her disappearance – describing it as “the biggest breakthrough” in the 13-year investigation.

“Have they found the man who took Maddie?” asks its headline.

Inside, it prints images of what it describes as the “ramshackle farm building” where the man lived, which it says was on a path running to the Algarve beach where Madeleine played with her family. 

The paper says he has been at the centre of a three-year investigation involving British, German and Portuguese police who have been trying to “unravel” his movements.

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PA Media

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Police have been searching for Madeleine McCann for over 13 years

The Daily Express prints images of what it calls the man’s “tatty camper van”, alongside a description of him as a “convicted child sex attacker” who is believed to have burgled hotel complexes and holiday apartments. 

Quarantine plan

The government’s quarantine plans for new arrivals into the UK continue to come under scrutiny.

The Times reports that leading scientists have “hit out” at the policy. One tells the paper the move “makes no sense” as it will have a “negligible impact on public health”.

Another says people arriving in the UK are more likely to be infected by immigration officers at the airport than the other way round.

In its editorial, the Financial Times says the policy represents another example of Britain being “out of step” with its partners around the world, who are beginning to reopen their borders.

It warns the impact on the UK’s financial and professional services sectors could cause serious disruption to the economic recovery and urges the government to establish “air bridges” to countries with low infection rates.

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In his column in the Daily Telegraph, Allister Heath warns that mishandling the pandemic could lead to the government’s undoing. 

He urges Boris Johnson to make a televised address to the nation, accepting that “bad mistakes have been made” and announcing sweeping changes including high-profile sackings and the abolition of Public Health England.

Mr Johnson, he writes, must be “bolder and more radical” to prevent economic confidence in his government collapsing, advising him to borrow to invest, ditch the fiscal rules, slash stamp duty and resist tax rises.

The Sun makes similar calls. It says Mr Johnson must ignore demands from ex-chancellors for a new era of austerity. “Lower taxes are the route to a rapid bounce back,” says the paper.

Schools reopening

The Guardian says it has obtained figures showing that in some areas of north-east England, almost no schools reopened to more pupils this week.

The paper says data from 11 of the largest local authorities in the region – which has the highest Covid-19 infection rate in the UK – shows just 12% of schools admitted additional pupils. 

It reports that a poll of members of the biggest teaching union – the NEU – suggests that across England, 44% of schools remained closed to most children.

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Getty Images

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Schools reopened to more pupils in England on 1 June

The Daily Mirror reports on a possible cure for baldness.

It says scientists in the US have, for the first time, grown hair on a mouse, using human stem cells. The paper hails the research as “a breakthrough” which it says could lead to “an unlimited supply of locks for millions who are follicly challenged.” 

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