Body found in Malaysia was that of missing Londoner

Police have confirmed a body found in the Malaysian jungle is that of missing British backpacker Gareth Huntley, the Foreign Office said.

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Gareth's family: 'no words can describe the void'

The family of Londoner Gareth Huntley, whose body was discovered in the Malaysian jungle after he went missing last month have thanked everyone who helped with the search.

Credit: Family handout/PA Wire

They said "no words can describe the void he will leave" as they thanked "everyone who came together in the last week to do everything in their power to help find Gareth".

Government support for missing man's family

Police have confirmed a body found in the Malaysian jungle is that of missing London backpacker Gareth Huntley, the Foreign Office said.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "Malaysian police have now confirmed that the body found on Tioman Island is Gareth Huntley."The Foreign Office will remain in close contact with the Malaysian authorities and our staff continue to support Gareth's family at this tragic time."

Gareth Huntley has been missing since 27 May
Gareth Huntley has been missing since 27 May Credit: Family handout

Mr Huntley, 34, disappeared on May 27 when he went on a trek to a waterfall on Tioman Island, off the south-eastern coast of the country's mainland.

A body feared to be that of Mr Huntley was found on Wednesday, close to where he was living. His mother, Janet Southwell, had given blood to hospital staff so they could carry out a DNA comparison.

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A week since trekker vanished on Malaysian island

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Gareth Huntley. Credit: Family photo

Today marks a week since a trekker from Cricklewood went missing on a Malaysian island. More than a hundred people have been searching the jungle for Gareth Huntley, with a foreign office diplomat coordinating the operation on the ground.

Number Ten says David Cameron is considering what more the Government can do to help.

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Cameron phones Malaysia's PM to 'thank for the search'

Prime Minister David Cameron has spoken to his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak about the search for the Briton missing in the Malaysian jungle, Downing Street spokesperson said.

“The PM thanked Prime Minister Najib for the extensive efforts of the Malaysian authorities over the past few days and said that the UK was considering what more it could do to help if required," the spokesperson said.

Read: Mother of missing Briton arrives in Malaysia

National

Missing Briton's mum: Search intensified in last 24 hours

The mother of Gareth Huntley, a Briton missing in the Malaysian jungle, told ITV News the search for her son has "intensified considerably in the last 24 hours".

Janet Southwell, who arrived in Malaysia today, said she was "very grateful" that the British and Malaysian governments were doing their best to ensure a "safe return for Gareth".

Watch: Missing Gareth Huntley's family 'remaining positive'

Family of missing Gareth Huntley arrive on island

Gareth Huntley has been missing for almost a week Credit: Personal photo

The family of missing charity worker Gareth Huntley have been told that Malaysian search experts have been working hard to ramp up their efforts, as international pressure translates into action on the ground.

Search teams have expanded their search zones and a unit of Commandos from the Malaysian army is scouring the higher, harder to reach areas of dense forest.

Gareth's family and friends on Tioman island have been asked to stay out of the jungle to allow professional search teams to work unhindered.

His mother, Janet Southwell, arrived on the island this morning. She said:

“We’re trying to stay positive while the search intensifies. I need to offer a huge collective hug to everyone who has supported the campaign."

The Twitter hashtag #findgareth has been tweeted thousands of times.

National

Hammond: 'Raised missing Briton search with Malaysia'

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond held discussions with his Malaysian counterpart earlier over the ongoing search on Tioman Island for missing Briton, Gareth Huntley. Mr Hammond sought re-assurances that the authorities have what they need for the search.

He spoke to his Malaysian Counterpart, Mr Hishammuddin, while attending the 13th International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Asia Security Summit, known as the “Shangri-La Dialogue”.

I raised the ongoing search on Tioman Island with the Malaysian Government to check they have all the resources they require.

They assure me that they do and that they are doing everything they can to find Gareth.

We will continue to keep in regular contact with the Malaysian Civil authorities leading the search.

– Defence Secretary Philip Hammond

Whilst in Singapore, Mr Hammond also visited HMS Echo at the UK Naval installation at Sembawang. The ship is on her way back from deployment in the Southern Indian Ocean where it had been searching for the missing Malaysian airliner MH370.

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