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Police find fresh lead in missing Ben Needham case

Ben was just 21 months when he vanished in Kos in 1991. Credit: PA

Police are to examine another lead which emerged after the case of Ben Needham was featured on Greece's version of Crimewatch again last night.

Earlier in the week the "Light at the End of the Tunnel" programme received hundreds of calls and emails about Ben's disappearance on the Greek island of Kos in 1991.

That appeal uncovered seven new leads described by South Yorkshire Police as "potentially interesting".

But detectives in South Yorkshire are now chasing an eighth lead after an update on the case was featured on the show last night.

No details of the leads have been given but Ben's mum Kerry Needham said a soldier had contacted the show saying he knew about Ben's "abduction" but she was still waiting for more information.

Read more: £10,000 reward to find Ben Needham 24 years on

Needham mother says police have 'pretty positive leads'

The mother of Ben Needham - who went missing on a Greek holiday island more than 24 years ago - says police have uncovered "pretty positive" leads in the search for her son.

Kerry Needham speaking to Good Morning Britain. Credit: ITV/Good Morning Britain

Kerry Needham told Good Morning Britain that her appeal on Greek television "couldn't have gone any better" after seven "strong" new leads were uncovered.

Ms Needham said South Yorkshire Police were cautious about what information they share with the family because "they've seen first hand how devastating it is for us when it turns out not to be Ben".

"They [police] seem very encouraged by everything so we have to remain hopeful, we have to remain strong as a family, and just keep fighting and praying the information they have received is going to lead us to Ben eventually," she said.

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Ben Needham investigation boosted by Govt funds

The Government has agreed to provide £700,000 to help search for Ben Needham who vanished while on holiday in Greece 23 years ago.

Ben disappeared aged 21 months old while on holiday on the Greek island of Kos with his mother and grandparents in 1991.

Ben's mother told ITV News that the funding had been a "long time coming".

ITV News' Richard Pallot reports:

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Ben Needham mother: Funding has been long time coming

The mother of missing Ben Needham has told ITV News that Home Office funding for the investigation into her son's disappearance has been a "long time coming".

Kerry Needham, whose son vanished in Greece more than 20 years ago, said the announcement was "bittersweet" as the delay in receiving resources could have "hindered us in finding Ben".

"It's been a long time coming - I was starting to get to the point where I didn't think it was going to be authorised," Mrs Needham said.

"So, it's been long and frustrating."

"I believe that one way or another they will find out what happened to him or they will find him at the end of it."

Ben Needham family thank Home Office for search funding

The family of missing Ben Needham have thanked the Home Office for providing £700,000 to aid the search for him.

Earlier today, South Yorkshire police revealed they would be receiving the additional funds from the Government to support the investigation into Ben's disappearance.

Govt to provide £700K to Ben Needham search

The Government has said it remains committed to the search for missing Ben Needham, after confirming it is providing £700,000 to the investigation.

This Government remains committed in its support for the search for Ben Needham.

We can confirm we have offered to provide up to £700,000 in 2015/16 towards South Yorkshire Police's investigation.

This is pending a formal assessment by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary.

– A Home Office spokesperson

Police hope to provide answers Ben's family 'desperately want'

Police have said they hope to provide the family of missing Ben Needham with the answers they "so desperately want".

Speaking after the Home Office granted South Yorkshire Police with funding to assist the search for Ben, who disappeared in 1991, Detective Superintendent Matt Fenwick said:

Ben was a very young child when he went missing 23 years ago.

His family has endured untold pain and anguish in the years that followed and have never given up in trying to find him.

South Yorkshire Police has provided support to the Greek authorities wherever requested in assisting with the investigation. We hope that by continuing to work with them, we can assist in providing the answers Ben's family so desperately want.

We will now take time to establish the right investigation team, with a view to the inquiry commencing in April.

– Detective Superintendent Matt Fenwick
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