Ben Needham: Missing 23 years today

Two members of the Needham family have never met Ben who went missing 23 years ago. His mum says he would be proud of their search for him.

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Needham family make fresh appeal for support twenty-three years on

Twenty-three years ago today a Sheffield toddler disappeared on the Greek island of Kos leaving his family distraught, devastated and bewildered.

The passing decades have done little to change those feelings and the case of Ben Needham remains one of the great unsolved mysteries.

Today his mum Kerry has made a fresh appeal to the Prime Minister to help investigate leads and end the on-going agony.

Mark Witty has been speaking to her:

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Ben Needham's mum's message of support for McCanns

Missing toddler Ben Needham
Missing toddler Ben Needham Credit: South Yorkshire Police

The mother of missing South Yorkshire toddler Ben Needham has sent a message of support to the parents of missing Madeleine McCann who disappeared in Portugal in 2007.

This week a team of British and Portugese police officers began searching wasteland in the holdiay resort of Praia da Luz.

Kerry Needdham said: "I completely understand and know how Kate and Gerry must be feeling right now.

"It is the most horrific thought and feeling that any parent can go through - knowing that police are going to be digging up ground and there is a chance your child could be buried there - it's horrendous.

"When the dig was going on in Kos I was 99 per cent sure they would not find Ben - but there was always that 1 per cent chance they could - and that's very hard to cope with.

"There are some similarities between Ben's case and Madeleine's, and then again there is not. We are just two families who want to know where our children are. My thoughts are with them"

Ben Needham campaign calls on Twitter users to #HelpFindBen

The campaign to find Ben Needham has taken to Twitter for a special "Tweet for Ben" day.

The Sheffield toddler went missing on the island of Kos in 1991.

The account @FindBenNeedham is tweeting high-profile celebrities to raise awareness of their search.

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Kerry Needham interview

The mother of Ben Needham says the Prime Minister has refused to give her son's case the same financial backing as the McCann family.

Last month Kerry's MP Angela Smith asked David Cameron whether the Needhams could get similar funds as those given to the McCanns in the search for their daughter, Madeline.

In a written reply David Cameron says the National Crime Agency has supported South Yorkshire police, but made no mention of extra money for the Needham case. Kerry came into the Calendar studio and spoke to Christine Talbot.

Kerry Needham's anger at Cameron cash snub

The mother of Ben Needham says the Prime Minister has refused to give her son's case the same financial backing as the McCann family, despite a plea from her MP for assistance.

Last month Kerry's MP, Angela Smith, asked David Cameron whether the Needhams could get similar funds as those given to the McCann's in the search for their daughter.

The response has angered Kerry Needham, and Angela Smith says David Cameron could be accused of "favouring" one family over another. She now wants a national unit to investigate the cases of children missing abroad.

Calendar can also reveal tonight that a new dossier reveals EIGHT sightings of a blonde boy with the same Greek family. Mark Witty reports

PM snubs Needham cash plea

The mother of missing Ben Needham says the Prime Minister has refused to give her son's case the same financial backing as the McCann family.

Last month Kerry's MP Angela Smith asked David Cameron whether the Needhams could get similar funds as those given to the McCanns in the search for their daughter, Madeline.

But in a written reply David Cameron says the National Crime Agency has supported South Yorkshire police, but made no mention of extra money for the Needham case.

Video: demand for more support for Needham family

The Prime Minister has described the continuing search for Ben Needham, from Sheffield, as heartbreaking - and says he will see what he can do to increase the level of support for his family.

David Cameron was put on the spot in the Commons this afternoon by the Needham's MP, who demanded to know why Ben's mother wasn't getting the same backing as the parents of Madeline McCann.

Ben vanished 22 years ago on the island of Kos. Today his grandfather Eddie said he hopes the Prime Minister keeps his promise.

Paul Brand reports.

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