According to Mr. Mitchell, it was a circumstantial (1) meeting at the Leicestershire Police, while he was working at the Consular Assistance Group from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Clarence Mitchell told Leicestershire Police, in his statement, that he was asked to go back to Portugal with Mr. Gerry McCann, where he met his wife, Kate McCann.
Later, as he said, he developed a good professional and personal relationship with the family. In the same statement, Mr. Mitchell reveals that he went to Portugal on May 22, 2007 (the meeting at Leicestershire Police, with Gerry McCann was on May 21, 2007) and remain there until the middle of June. After his return to UK, he kept in daily touch with the family and met them 2 or 3 times a week.
Seconded to the Foreign Office
But according to Mr. Jim Murphy, Minister of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office on 7 May, 2008, Clarence Mitchell was seconded to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, from the Central Office of Information (COI), for a period of 25 days in May 2007 to provide assistance with the media to the family of Madeleine McCann.
After his return to UK, in mid-June 2007, Clarence Mitchell continued to work as head of the Media Monitoring Unit, a department from the UK Government Central Office of Information (COI). He resigned from the COI on September 17, 2007. The Media Monitoring Unit employed 18 press officers, on August 2006 and, according to reports in the Media, it started to monitor blogs publishing hot issues regarding government policy in 2007, using a software tool developed by internet intelligence company “23 Ltd”.
McCann victims of a heinous crime
Clarence Mitchell was replaced by PR expert and Liberal Democrat politician Justine McGuinness on June 22, 2007. Justine announced her resignation immediately after the McCann couple went back to UK and Clarence Mitchell left his well-paid job at the Government to became the McCann spokesperson, with his 75,000 pounds salary paid by the millionaire Brian Kennedy.
As he started on his new job, he justified his decision to quit MMU and made clear what he thought about the decision of the Portuguese Police and Public Prosecution Services to name the McCann as “arguidos” or formal suspects: "I have done so simply because I feel so strongly that they are the innocent victims of a heinous crime that I am prepared to forgo my career in government service to assist them (...) I will simply be representing Katie and Gerry as a private individual, one who believes utterly that they are innocent of any involvement in the disappearance, let alone the death, of their daughter, Madeleine."
Duarte Levy and Paulo Reis
(1) Gerry McCann left Faro Airport on May 20, 2007, on a late flight. He arrived at Coventry Airport on the early hours of May 21. The Media was informed that the trip was related with personal matters and also for meetings with organizers of the Find Madeleine Fund. He met Clarence Mitchell at Leicestershire Constabulary's headquarters, and went to Rothley where he visited the Madeleine's improvised shrine, set up at the war memorial in the village centre. Daily Mail wrote that Gerry meeting with Leicestershire Constabulary was intended to see how they were coordinating their inquiries, as they were the police force in charge of cooperating with the Portuguese police. On May 22, Clarence Mitchell and Gerry McCann flew back to Algarve.