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Candid Camera: Clarence Mitchell

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Post by Verdi on 18.05.20 16:35

The spokesman for the McCanns reveals what he thinks really happened to Maddie

And why Kate and Gerry seemed to show no emotion

1 year ago
Hayley SoenHayley Soen

One of the biggest mysteries of this generation is what happened to Madeleine McCann. It's one of the most talked about news stories the UK has ever seen, and the most high profile missing child case ever. So much so, that the Netflix documentary released this month, The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann, has basically halted the world and got everyone talking about the case again. And one person with insight into the case is McCann spokesman Clarence Mitchell.

Clarence Mitchell was working in a civil service job when he answered a phone call to the conversation that would land him in the middle of the Madeleine McCann case. It was in May 2007, and Madeleine had just gone missing from her family's holiday apartment in Praia du Luz, Portugal. Clarence Mitchell then left for Portugal, and became the official spokesperson for the McCanns in Madeleine's case.

12 years on, this is what the McCann spokesman Clarence Mitchell thinks happened to Madeleine. He also explains the reason Kate and Gerry appeared to be so emotionless during their ordeal.

McCann spokesman Clarence Mitchell thinks Madeleine was 'taken to order'

In an interview with The Telegraph, ex BBC reporter and McCann spokesman Clarence Mitchell, has shared his opinion on what happened to Madeleine McCann.

He said he doesn't believe the "ridiculous" conspiracy theories circulating about Madeleine's disappearance. He said: "One of the most ridiculous conspiracy theories I have heard was that Madeleine was born as the result of a government cloning project.

"People also assumed the worst. That [the McCanns] were getting drunk, that they were having fun and that they did not care about their children."

Instead, he offers a rare insight into the case, that isn't heard much in Madeleine's story. At the time, Portuguese laws said information regarding the investigation was to remain private. Because of this, the McCann perspective was never really heard. Clarence Mitchell may not work as much with the McCanns now, but he still has an idea about what might have happened to Maddie.

He told The Telegraph: "I asked the British authorities what they think happened and if there was any family involvement, and they assured me it was just a rare case of stranger abduction.

"It’s very rare, but it can happen."

He says a sexual motive is an "obvious" possibility, and Kate and Gerry remain hopeful, as there have been "other cases, where a missing child has been found alive after many years." Plus, "the complete absence of any evidence that Madeleine has been physically harmed" is the reason Madeleine could still be alive.

Clarence believes Maddie was chosen, and abducted. "A child was taken to order from that room."

Clarence Mitchell thinks the McCanns are completely innocent

Speaking to The Telegraph, McCann spokesman Clarence Mitchell explained his involvement with the case. He said: "Some of the coverage had been very negative, and so I thought this was a chance to help them [Kate and Gerry].

“We have a good working relationship. Friendly but professional. We do not socialise, it is not necessarily appropriate, but the media coverage is still pretty intrusive and they see me as a part of dealing with it."

The McCanns have received a lot of bad press since the disappearance of Madeleine, and a lot of the conspiracy theories out there discuss the possible involvement of Kate and Gerry. Mitchell said this speculation isn't true, "a lot of it is misinformed, misguided and based purely on assumptions or lack of knowledge." He thinks the negative press is mainly down to prejudice, and people deciding they don’t like the McCanns. A huge reason why the public began to dislike the McCanns was because of the huge reward fund that was raised to help find Maddie.

Clarence Mitchell also addressed criticism of Kate and Gerry, labelling them as neglectful. He said: "There is even those who say that the parents know what happened. They don’t. It is just not true. But try explaining that in the noise of social media and general coverage."

Why did Kate and Gerry McCann come across so cold and emotionless?

Then there is the real reason why Kate and Gerry behaved the way they did in the public eye. Kate and Gerry's lack of public emotion caused a lot of speculation, despite Kate saying she "cries for Madeleine every day".

According to Mitchell, the McCanns were told by police to be cold and emotionless, as this would stop anyone that had taken her from getting kicks out of seeing the upset they created. He said: "One of the reasons they were so controlled was because they were told very early on that often, in the case of paedophilic kidnaps, the perpetrators watch media coverage and enjoy seeing the distress that they have caused.

"So, the police told them not to cry. Not to show any over-emotion. Kate and Gerry, both doctors and both logical, were not going to let that bastard have that satisfaction and so were very rigid."

But Mitchell understands that to your average person, this behaviour might be odd. "For someone who does not know that, they might think it looks a bit suspicious. It is almost like the public were expecting the parents to react in a certain way."

https://thetab.com/uk/2019/03/26/mccann-spokesman-clarence-mitchell-madeleine-96448

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Post by Verdi on 18.05.20 16:36


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Post by Franco99 on 30.06.20 12:13

I'm fascinated that Clarence Mitchell is still popping out of the woodwork after all these years.  Is he totally financed by the vast amounts of taxpayer's money that has been thrown at this case?  Or is the government still paying him to protect the McCanns from prosecution?   He's even turning up for something as irrelevent (to the case) as Gerry's mother's funeral.  Is it a full time job for him?
I'd like to hear his comments on the Scotland Yard statistics that nearly 85% of child abductions, abuse & murders are carried out by the family or close family friends.  Yet in this case, Scotland Yard detectives were sent out to PdL apparently to prove the opposite.....
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Post by Verdi on 30.06.20 12:46

Don't quote me but back in the day, didn't Clarence Mitchell say, or imply, that he had become good friends with the McCanns - keeping it professional at all times (?).

Whatever, he appears to be on-hand whenever the need arises. That to me speaks volumes. I do however feel he overreached himself, he got too greedy thinking his notoriety would lead to greater things - epic failure. He now seems to be grappling in the gutter looking for stars.

Or maybe he's just self isolating, you know, the proverbial source close to ....

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Post by cookiemuncher on 30.06.20 12:59

@Franco99 wrote:I'm fascinated that Clarence Mitchell is still popping out of the woodwork after all these years.  Is he totally financed by the vast amounts of taxpayer's money that has been thrown at this case?  Or is the government still paying him to protect the McCanns from prosecution?   He's even turning up for something as irrelevent (to the case) as Gerry's mother's funeral.  Is it a full time job for him?
I'd like to hear his comments on the Scotland Yard statistics that nearly 85% of child abductions, abuse & murders are carried out by the family or close family friends.  Yet in this case, Scotland Yard detectives were sent out to PdL apparently to prove the opposite.....
You only have to look at the DM website to see the horrific child murders day after day, it's become such an everyday thing you just think "oh another one" and it passes you by but it's becoming so frequent that it's becoming scary.

Those poor children don't stand a chance with their vicious, nasty, so-called caring parents or step-parents, when they can smash the child's head against a wall without any feeling, beat them to a pulp, break their limbs, stub cigarettes out on them, or starve them for days on end as they're too busy going down the pub to be bothered with them, then they cry "oh whoa is me" when they're arrested and handcuffed and dragged down to the local police station only to be given a 6 month suspended sentence.
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Post by Guest on 30.06.20 13:40

Clarence thinks the MacCanns are totally innocent,no,no,no.
He says they are innocent but he knows they caused the death of
Madeleine ,that is why he was totally rejected in two elections.He got into bed with the McCanns (literally maybe)and is now paying the price.
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Post by Verdi on 30.06.20 15:59

Exactly ^^^ thumbsup !

He was over greedy. Another one who didn't anticipate the PJ files being released into the public arena.

Beware, the dog you feed could turn around and bite you on the bum!

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Post by Verdi on 04.08.20 1:02

Former BBC man to speak for McCanns

Profile: Clarence Mitchell

James Sturcke
Published on Tue 18 Sep 2007

Candid Camera:  Clarence Mitchell - Page 5 Mccann17
The McCanns and their new spokesman, Clarence Mitchell. Photograph: David Jones/PA

Clarence Mitchell, speaking outside Gerry and Kate McCann's home in Rothley, Leicestershire, confirmed he had resigned from a senior post in the civil service to handle the intense international press interest in the case of Madeleine, who vanished while on holiday with her family in Portugal.

Mr Mitchell, a former BBC reporter, spent a month with the family as the representative of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, during the summer.

Speaking with the couple at his side, Mr Mitchell said he had spent up to 14 hours a day with the couple and had never seen anything to suggest they had had anything to do with the four-year-old's disappearance.

"All I saw was a loving family that has been plunged into a dreadful situation - two parents trying to cope amidst their loss. To suggest that they somehow harmed Madeleine accidentally or otherwise is as ludicrous as it is nonsensical. Indeed, it would be laughable if it was not so serious," he said.

Mr Mitchell said he was "proud" to be able to help the McCanns deal with the pressure of the media interest.

The McCanns have been named by Portuguese detectives as official suspects.

Mr Mitchell said his job in the Cabinet Office as head of the media monitoring unit was "untenable" from the moment he accepted an invitation from the family, supported by their legal team and financial backers, to represent them.

"More importantly, I have [resigned] because I feel so strongly that they are innocent victims of a heinous crime that I am prepared to forego my career in government service to assist them."

He said the McCanns were happy to continue cooperating with the Portuguese authorities and that attention must return to finding Madeleine, who disappeared on May 3 from the family's holiday home in the Algarve resort of Praia de Luz while the parents dined nearby.

"The focus must now move away from the rampant, unfounded and inaccurate speculation of recent days, to return to the child at the very centre of this: Madeleine," he said.

Mr Mitchell said the family would like to appeal to the media to stop taking photographs of, or filming, the McCanns' younger children, two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie.

Mr Mitchell was reported to have been earning around £70,000 in his post at the Central Office of Information.

Later he told Sky News that his new job was being paid for by a "generous financial backer who wishes to remain anonymous". He was not receiving money from Mr or Mrs McCann or the Find Madeleine appeal.

As for accusations about DNA evidence against the McCanns, Mr Mitchell said that there "were wholly innocent explanations and Gerry and Kate will be able to explain everything if it gets to that stage. To suggest they harmed Madeleine is just plain daft."

During his time with the McCanns in the summer, Mr Mitchell spent most of the day with the family accompanying them on trips around the Algarve and to a number of countries to publicise the case.

Earlier, the Correio da Manha newspaper reported that Judge Pedro Daniel dos Anjos Frias had rejected a police request to have the McCanns brought back to Portugal for further questioning.

Instead Mrs McCann could be re-interviewed this week by British police acting on behalf of Portuguese authorities.

A UK police source said it would be "unusual" for British officers to carry out interviews on behalf of a foreign police force but stressed that "anything is possible" in a major inquiry. It is more common for officers from other countries to visit Britain to question witnesses or suspects in person with the assistance of the local force.

Sir Richard Branson has donated £100,000 towards the couple's legal costs, stating he "trusted them implicitly" and wanted them to have a fair trial if they were brought before a Portuguese court.

The Virgin boss confirmed that he had been in talks with other wealthy people to encourage them to contribute to a legal fund, and said at least one other anonymous donor had already been signed up.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2007/sep/18/ukcrime.marketingandpr



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Post by Verdi on 04.08.20 1:04

Speaking with the couple at his side, Mr Mitchell said he had spent up to 14 hours a day with the couple and had never seen anything to suggest they had had anything to do with the four-year-old's disappearance.

"All I saw was a loving family that has been plunged into a dreadful situation - two parents trying to cope amidst their loss. To suggest that they somehow harmed Madeleine accidentally or otherwise is as ludicrous as it is nonsensical. Indeed, it would be laughable if it was not so serious," he said.

Mr Mitchell said he was "proud" to be able to help the McCanns deal with the pressure of the media interest.

I wouldn't touch Mitchell with a barge pole - unless it was to push him away in compliance with social distancing.

poke

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Post by Franco99 on 12.09.20 18:11

I recollect that Clarence Mitchell purportedly resigned from his job in the COI, where he was in charge of squashing and eliminating any unpleasant stories about the government's dealings.  He makes it sound as if he shot out to Portugal, on his own volition, on a mission of mercy - barely having time to resign his high-paid job for the Cabinet - purely to help the McCanns!   Does that sound a believable story?

He has subsequently said that he is not being financed by 'Madeleine's Fund'.  Yet in interviews for The Independent (1/3/2009) & The Daily Telegraph (24/4/2008) he stated that 40% of his salary is paid from that Fund!

This is a man who is an acknowledged expert on keeping the lid on unpleasant news and he was out to Portugal as soon as Madeleine had supposedly 'been abducted'.  Has he ever thrown in his job before to assist parents of missing children??

One additional piece of news I saw recently stated that the Priest from Pria del Luz, who kindly gave the McCanns the key of his church for several days (& nights) has left his job and apparently even left Portugal....    Has anyone else heard this?   Does anybody know if it's true?   It could put things in a totally diffent light.   I remember he was quoted at that time as saying that he wished he's never met the McCanns!
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Post by Verdi on 20.11.20 11:46

PROFILE: Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for the McCann family

November 28, 2007 by Hannah Marriott

Clarence Mitchell has only been in PR for a few months. But at the CIPR's presidential reception three weeks ago, he was certainly the star turn.

Candid Camera:  Clarence Mitchell - Page 5 Claren14

Once word got around that the spokesman for the McCann family was in attendance, the great and the good of the PR ind­ustry were almost queuing up to talk to him, all eager to find out a little more about the mystery of Madeleine’s disappearance.

Mitchell is a seasoned hard news reporter, who worked for the BBC for nearly 20 years, and then for the Government’s Media Monitoring Unit (MMU) for two years, before being seconded out to handle the media in Portugal for the McCanns tow­ards the end of May.

As a reporter, Mitchell says he was ‘always seen as a fireman’, and would be flown in ‘when there was trouble kicking off in Northern Ireland’, or in other dangerous locations such as Iran and Iraq. He also covered the death of Princess Diana, the murder of Milly Dowler and the Fred and Rosemary West mass-murders.

Like any reporter, Mitchell became used to being dispassionate. He describes one of his ‘lucky breaks’ as being on the motorway behind the Kegworth air crash on the M1 in 1989: ‘It sounds dreadful, but that’s journalism – you need to be in the right place at the right time.’

In his current role, of course, Mitchell is far from neutral – indeed, he is vehemently convinced of the McCanns’ innocence, a fact that has not been lost on the press covering the story. One national newspaper journalist describes Mitchell’s work with the McCanns as a ‘crusade to right what he perceives as a real injustice’.

Mitchell wears his commitment to the family almost literally on his sleeve, sporting a pair of bright yellow and green campaign wristbands. He also has a yellow and green ribbon pinned to his lapel, signifying the search for a missing person and strength.

Mitchell was first sent to meet Gerry McCann at East Midlands airport two weeks after Madeleine’s disappearance. The pair flew back together to Portugal. Mitchell then spent an intense month of 15-hour days with the family.

He had to return to his government role, and others handled the McCanns’ PR. But even then, he says, the family still called him for advice in his own time. ‘We had bec­ome friends,’ he says. ‘But I couldn’t help them beyond the odd phone call, bec­ause officially the Government couldn’t be seen to be involved.’ In September, he quit his government role in order to work for the family, at a time when much of the media seemed to be turning against the McCanns.

Mitchell is clear about the reasons for this change of feeling: ‘I have to be careful what I say, but somebody who has good connections with the police decided early on, it appears, that they were somehow involved, and decided to plant stories.’

The Portuguese press ran these stories – ‘they have a very lurid end to the tabloid market, just as we do,’ he says – and then the British press picked them up.

Mitchell is obviously angry with the press, many of whom he believes were simply ‘recycling rubbish’: ‘As a former journalist myself, some of the behaviour of the British press has been shameful.’

Mitchell played a great part in quashing the most negative of these stories. He exp­lains that he had a very simple strategy: ‘When I came aboard Gerry and Kate were being accused left, right and centre. What people don’t always understand is that the papers aren’t running these stories necessarily because they believe them – they are good angles. They will also run an equally good angle from the other side.’

Mitchell also gets fired up at accusations from some sections of the press that the McCanns have been too concerned with PR. He says that the majority of the time he is turning down requests for interviews.

And at the beginning of the campaign, when then McCanns were raising awareness, the strategy was different. As someone with three young children, Mitchell says: ‘I would say that any family in this situation – myself included – would hit the phones and do what they could.’

Mitchell admits that he does get angry. But one journalist covering the case says that the fact that Mitchell ‘is not afraid to say what he thinks’ can only be a good thing for the McCanns.

When Mitchell left the BBC in 2005 it was because he had reached a plateau, having being passed over for the role of royal correspondent and realising he would never present the Ten O’Clock News.

He describes his post at the Government’s MMU as an ‘inward-facing, administration role’, adding: ‘Sometimes when there was a big story I’d be thinking, I know where I’d be today.’

Now, he’s back at the heart of the story. Indeed, Steve Anderson, the Mentorn Media creative director, who was the exec­utive producer on this month’s Panorama Special: The Mystery of Madeleine McCann, goes as far as to stay that this was the job Mitchell was ‘meant to do’.

Mitchell seems completely driven by personal conviction and adrenaline, and it is understandably difficult for him to predict what he will be doing next. Officially, he says, he is now communications director for multi-millionaire Brian Kennedy – the McCanns’ main benefactor – so he will still be employed when the situation is res­olved. After that he will look into opportunities, either with Kennedy or elsewhere.

At the end of the interview, Mitchell cannot help but bring the message home: ‘Don’t forget that in the middle of all this there is a little girl out there, alive, and she needs to be found and brought home.’
TURNING POINTS...

What was your biggest career break? There have been a few at different times. Getting into papers in the first place, after a couple of years in a boring job I didn’t like, in a bank. And being on a motorway when an aircrash happens in front of you, from a reporter’s point of view, is a big break. Having the Prime Minister as your local MP is a big break. I’ve been in the right place at the right time many times. And without the government role I would never have been in touch with Gerry and Kate, so you could say that was a break as well.

What advice would you give someone climbing the career ladder? Know what you want to do, absolutely focus on it and keep ploughing away. Eventually people will start taking your seriously. That applies to journalism, to PR, to any walk of life.

Who was your most notable mentor? I haven’t had a mentor as such. I’m pretty much
self-driven, although there have been people I have respected. My very first newspaper editor, Dennis Signy, was very influential and I’m very grateful to him. A number of BBC editors have also been very kind. That said, you make your own luck.

What do you prize most in new recruits? Drive, a degree of ambition, but properly focused. Passion underscored with scepticism.

https://www.prweek.com/article/769746/profile-clarence-mitchell-spokesman-mccann-family


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