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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 September 2007, 05:10 GMT 06:10 UK
McCanns 'hide nothing from twins'
Kate and Gerry McCann outside their house in Rothley
Kate and Gerry McCann returned from Portugal on 9 September
The parents of missing Madeleine McCann have said they talk about her "all the time" to their two-year-old twins.

In their first interview since returning home to Britain, Kate and Gerry McCann said nothing was hidden from her siblings Sean and Amelie.

When they ask where their older sister is, the couple said their reply is: "She isn't here at the moment."

Madeleine disappeared from her holiday apartment in Portugal on 3 May and her parents have been named as suspects.

Mr McCann, a 39-year-old cardiologist, told reporters: "We talk about Madeleine to the twins all the time.

"The twins are surrounded by all of her toys, her belongings, and there are lots of pictures of her in the house.

"There is no attempt to shield them from Madeleine. Questions as and when they arise are dealt with. When we were in Portugal we told them she was on a little trip."

'Uplifting'

The McCanns returned home to the village of Rothley, Leics, on 9 September.

They had left Britain at the end of April for a family holiday in Praia da Luz and returned home four months later as formal suspects in the disappearance of their daughter.

The only thing which will make us truly happy is that we find Madeleine or what happened to her
Gerry McCann

GP Kate McCann, 39, told reporters it was "uplifting" to see the twins playing at home.

"Of course there are constant reminders of Madeleine but nevertheless we can still see that Sean and Amelie are happy at home.

"It was uplifting to realise they were back in their own environment."

Mrs McCann said it was also "uplifting" to attend her local church on Sunday.

"It was nice to see everybody from the local community, they were very supportive. That meant a lot".

Mr McCann said the family was enduring a "mixture of emotions", with brief "uplifting" moments tempered by negative reports or events.

"The only thing which will make us truly happy is that we find Madeleine or what happened to her," he added.

'Rampant speculation'

Despite their experiences, the couple expect they will one day return to Portugal for many reasons "spiritual, emotional and social".

The couple said there was "no question" of them not complying with any formal interview requests from police.

They have come under increasing media pressure since being given "arguido" status by Portuguese police earlier this month, making them official suspects in Madeleine's disappearance.

Madeleine McCann
Madeleine McCann went missing from Praia da Luz on 3 May

On Tuesday, their new spokesman Clarence Mitchell said he had resigned from his Cabinet Office job to act as the McCanns' spokesman, because he "feels so strongly" the couple were innocent.

As the then director of the Central Office of Information's media monitoring unit, the former BBC journalist spent a lot of time with the couple in Portugal.

Speaking outside the family home on Tuesday, he attacked the "rampant, unfounded and inaccurate speculation of recent days" and called for the focus of the investigation to return to finding the four-year-old.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Clarence Mitchell statement on behalf of the McCanns



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