A spokesman for the McCann family has refused to comment on allegations they used some of the Madeleine fund to pay their mortgage.

The statement comes after the Daily Mail reported that the family’s spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, confirmed: "part of the donations ... had been used to help with mortgage payments".

Mitchell told Sky News the use of the money was in line with the fund's objectives, "to provide support, including financial assistance, to Madeleine's family".

The Find Madeleine Fund has attracted more than £1 million (over $2 million) in public donations, to help find Madeleine McCann.

However, use of the fund has been called into question after it was revealed about a third of the money had been used to meet the McCanns' living costs, publicity fees and pay staff.

But the family has defended the fund, and said they would not use it for their legal fees.

Mitchell, recently appointed as the family's PR spokesman, said he would not be paid from the Find Madeleine Fund but from "private financial backers" to the McCanns.

Six months after their daughter went missing, the McCanns are facing financial pressure.

While Kate McCann is unlikely to return to her job as a part-time GP, Gerry will return to his work as a consultant, a move likely to help ease the financial pressure.