British girl Madeleine McCann disappeared from a hotel room in Portugal in 2007. File picture: David Moir/Reuters
London - Detectives have been given an extra £154000 (R2.8million) to continue the decade-long search for Madeleine McCann. The Home Office confirmed it would fund work to chase up a “critical” lead in Scotland Yard’s inquiry.

The figure brings the total spent in 2017-18 on Operation Grange to £309000 and the overall cost to around £11.5m.

Senior detectives expect the investigation into her disappearance will now continue until at least March.

They said the final element of their probe, which remains shrouded in secrecy, has proved much more “complex” than first expected.

The size of the award will raise hopes that the force is closing in on identifying whoever abducted the 3-year-old in May 2007 - but it also raises questions about what the money will be spent on, as only four officers remain on the case.

According to the latest records, they have only travelled to Portugal twice this year - in March and May - at a cost of £1250.

The figures are small compared to the £16000 spent by Operation Grange officers on 67 flights during 2014 at the peak of the investigation.

Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry insist they must continue as there is “absolutely nothing” to suggest their daughter has been harmed. Not one piece of forensic evidence linked to the little girl has been found since she vanished from her family’s Praia da Luz holiday apartment in Portugal.