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British tabloids apologise over Maddie slurs… six months on

Six months after British tabloid papers printed yet more “lunatic lies” regarding ‘the search for Madeleine McCann, apologies have appeared in two publications.

The Daily Mail and the Sun have both retracted stories that splashed across issues in June suggesting Sir Clement Fred – ‘outed’ as a paedophile following his death – drank at a Burgau pub with Robert Murat, the man awarded substantial damages early on in the inquiry for stories printed about him that had no basis in truth at all.

As the Resident revealed at the time, the stories were “factually ridiculous” (click here).

They not only constituted slurs on Murat and indeed Freud, they implicated a popular local watering hole by dubbing it, without any explanation, the “Plough and Paedo”.

At the time, landlord Robert Hurst told us: “This kind of irresponsible journalism can do no good whatsoever for anyone. Heaven only knows what kind of feeding frenzy will be unleashed next year on the 10th anniversary” – which of course comes early next year, at the start of the high holiday season.

It is also unclear why it took so long for the apologies to appear as it was patent from the outset that the ‘revelations’ were fatuous.

The first came at the end of October in the Sun- whose journalist visited Hurst’s pub, the long-established and extremely popular Pig’s Head, but in no way conducted any kind of interview – and the second in the Mail, last Monday.

Both papers stated that not only had Murat been cleared of any involvement in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, he had never met Freud.

Indeed the Sun stated: “It was not our intention to suggest any wrong-doing by Mr Murat. We apologise to Mr Murat”.

With Freud ‘out of the picture’ in death, that still leaves the Pig’s Head without any kind of apology.

Robert Hurst tells us he is “working on it” and in contact with the McCann’s legal team.

His main concern, he said, was with the “unsolicited pic of the pub which was placed in the middle of the Sun’s article, with the caption: ‘the pub where Murat and Freud drank’.”

“Such was the disjoined nature of the piece that it led people to think we were the paedo pub”, he added.

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