Former British MP and McCann friend exposed as a pedophile

Detectives probing the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have been “alerted” to news that a former British MP with a holiday home in Praia da Luz “befriended” the McCanns shortly after their daughter vanished.

Clement Freud, a senior figure in the Liberal party, got in touch with the couple “in the weeks after” Madeleine’s disappearance, and hosted them at his home on at least two occasions, writes the UK’s Telegraph.

With UK media today abuzz with the story of how Freud has been exposed as a pedophile, reports in Portuguese media stress that his family “guarantees” that he was not in the Algarve when Madeleine went missing.

The child’s parents are nonetheless said to be “horrified” by news that the man Kate McCann described as “warm, funny and instantly likeable”, is now being portrayed as a “ruthless user” of defenceless young children.

The full details of this hidden side to Freud’s otherwise gilded life – he was knighted in 1987 – are being screened this evening at 11.05pm on ITV in a documentary entitled: Exposure: Abused and Betrayed – A Life Sentence.

According to the UK’s Daily Mirror, Scotland Yard detectives working on Madeleine’s case “have been alerted” to the revelations “and are reportedly expected to assess the new information before deciding if it may be relevant to the inquiry”.

Sir Clement was a familiar face in Luz when staying at his holiday villa: He frequently took walks on the beach, and was untroubled by people who recognised him.

The grandson of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, he became a household name in the 60s and 70s, promoting Minced Morsel dog food, and regularly making radio broadcasts.

A prolific writer, Freud died in 2009, aged 84 writing his weekly column for the Racing Post.

In a rather grim aside, the Telegraph adds that while he was a Liberal MP, Freud shared an office with Cyril Smith – another British politician who was unmasked as a serial child abuser after his death.

He also “boasted” of being “the first person to book” an act by entertainer Rolf Harris – now serving a prison sentence for child sex abuse.

[email protected]

PHOTO: ITV’s sceening of Exposure: Abused and Betrayed – A Life Sentence will be tonight (Wednesday) at 11.05pm