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McCann Twitter account suspended due to 'hateful abuse'

kosMadeleine McCann's parents have denied having a spat with the Ben Needham campaign and say they support it.

Spokesman Clarence Mitchell today confirmed that the official Twitter account publicising the search for missing Madeleine McCann has been suspended due to the abusive comments that had been posted.

The ‘Find Madeleine’ site had been targeted with comments that displayed "hatred and sheer viciousness" towards Kate and Gerry McCann.

These comments may have resulted from questions posed by Mrs Needham who publicly has pondered the fairness of the £10.1 million spent by the UK government on the search for Madeleine when compared to the £800,000 spent since 1991in the search for her son, Ben, who went missing from the Greek island of Kos (pictured) in 1991.

Mr Mitchell said today that "Kate and Gerry McCann have always supported the campaign to find Ben Needham, indeed they have promoted it on their Find Madeleine Campaign social media platforms.

"However, it is a great pity that due to continued, ill-informed and abusive comments by some social media users, the decision has been taken to discontinue the 'Find Madeleine' Twitter account."

Mitchell added that "Kate and Gerry continue to wish Ben's mother, Kerry, all the best and they hope that she will one day be reunited with Ben, just as they, similarly, continue to hope that they will be reunited with Madeleine."

Ben Needham's mother told the British daily newspaper the Mirror that she was "shocked and hurt."

"I have myself had massive amounts of slanderous abuse from supporters of the McCann Campaign in the past but I have never taken that personally," she told the Mirror.

"I have never criticised the McCann family. I have only every criticised the authorities for the way the two cases have been handled so differently."

The Find Madeleine website today displayed a message that "deleting our Twitter account is the only option left to protect ourselves and the search for Madeleine".

The Facebook and Twitter accounts were set up in 2008 in order to raise awareness of the Find Madeleine campaign.

Madeleine disappeared during a family holiday in Praia da Luz in May 2007, while Ms Needham's 21-month-old son Ben vanished from Kos in July 1991. Neither child has been spotted since.