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Six years on, Madeleine McCann's parents still hold on to hope

They say involvement of Metropolitan Police now means hunt is escalating

The parents of missing Madeleine McCann have said they have not lost hope that their daughter will be found nearly six years after she vanished.

Kate and Gerry McCann said the involvement of the Metropolitan Police now meant the hunt for their daughter was escalating, rather than grinding to a halt.

Speaking on ITV's Daybreak this morning Mrs McCann urged the public to remember their daughter and always keep her in mind.

"The search is very much ongoing," she said.

"Nothing is slowing down, if anything I feel it's escalating with the work of the Met.

"And again it's just be vigilant, please still take your posters on holiday and don't forget about her, she's still missing.

"We haven't lost hope, our hope isn't any less than it was after the first 24, 48 hours."

In just two days time the family will mark the six year anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance.

She was nearly four when she disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal's Algarve on May 3, 2007 as her parents dined at a tapas restaurant with friends nearby.

Mr and Mrs McCann, of Rothley, Leicestershire, have campaigned tirelessly for information on their daughter's whereabouts, battling for a review by the Metropolitan Police, which has now been under way for more than 18 months.

Her father added: "In some respects I think we're actually in a better position now in terms of working out what happened, and having the Met involved has taken a huge amount of pressure off us now.

"They're doing all the things that we said needed to be done. When they're ready they'll come forward and ask the public for help."

Mr and Mrs McCann said they did not yet know how they would mark the anniversary on Friday apart from a service in their local church.

The "tremendous support" they have received from family, friends and the public in the years since Madeleine's disappearance have helped them not only keep going but stay strong as a couple, they said.

"It's a huge traumatic event, something like this," Mrs McCann said.

"I think we were strong before it happened, which was a blessing. We've always communicated well, I think that's really important and without doubt the support we've had from family, friends, the general public."

Their daughter was never far from their minds and her bedroom at home is much the same as it was before her disappearance.

Mrs McCann said she found solace in her local church, for which she has a key, but also from sitting quietly in Madeleine's room.

The couple will be carrying out a number of media interviews to mark the six year anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance.