Private Eye's least favourite firm of solicitors, Carter-Ruck, has imposed a set of restrictions on The Madeleine Foundation - the organisation of loafers, bigots and trouble-makers who have persisted in falsely holding Kate and Gerry McCann personally responsible for the disappearance or death of their young daughter.
This at least is the claim of the Foundation in a newsletter dated November 15 (2009). The MF was recently threatened with a libel suit by Carter-Ruck on behalf of Madeleine's parents over a number of outrageous baseless claims made against them. The newsletter - which has been passed to me by a source - describes these purported restrictions and acknowledges trouble within the organisation led by Tony Bennett.
The MF has agreed to launch a new website with new material. It will now "report the facts of the [Madeleine] case without comment"; will "analyse these facts"; and will "ask questions based on these facts." As opposed to publishing the crazed accusations of sofa Poirots with too much time on their hands. The MF reports: "The Carter-Ruck requirements mean that we can no longer make specific allegations against the Mccanns [sic], e.g. that Madeleine died in their apartment, or that they somehow caused her death and then covered it up."
The MF promises to add to any article "the McCanns’ version on any of the issues. For example, there is nothing to prevent our publishing, as we intend to, the evidence of Martin Grime and his springer spaniel sniffer dogs, so long as we add the McCanns’ comment on this. They claim that the evidence of sniffer dogs is ‘notoriously unreliable’."
This is excellent news, if accurately reported. At a stroke it ends the spurious claim of MF-ers that their right to free speech is being blocked by the McCanns. The couple have, I think, displayed a magnanimity unmatched by Bennett and his army of lapsed Daily Express readers and other frothing lounge louts.
There is distressing news, however. The newsletter discloses that the MF current bank account of £2,766 has been frozen. By the McCanns and their wicked lawyers? No. By its former chairman Debbie Butler following her expulsion and her denied fraud claims against the MF. If she's reading this, do get in touch.
Bennett has agreed to give an undertaking to the High Court “Not to repeat allegations that the McCanns are guilty of, or are to be suspected of, causing the death of their daughter Madeleine McCann, and/or of disposing of her body, and/or lying about what happened and/or seeking to cover up what they had done”. The MF adds: "We would advise all our members that they may run the risk of receiving a letter from Carter-Ruck if they can be identified as having made similar comments about the McCanns." So they should use "cautious language".
That could be difficult judging by the filth I have received.