Thursday, 21 August 2008

Clarence Mitchell: How I met Gerry and Kate McCann...

The spokesperson of the McCann family gave a statement, as a witness (under oath...) to Leicestershire Police, on April 28, 2008. Mr. Clarence Mitchell explained he met Gerry McCann on 2007, late May, when Madeleine's father went back to UK for the first time after his daughter disappeared.

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.

Mr. Jim Murphy revealed those details when questioned by Elliot Morley, Labour MP for Scunthorpe, on 7 May, 2008, as it is referred on the “Daily Hansard - Written Answers” at the House of Commons.

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.

22 comments:

Jill Havern said...

Quote Clarence Mitchell:

"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."

---

Funny how he chose to forgo his government career to help these two child neglecters. Funny how John McCann also chose to forgo his own highly paid career despite having a house and a wife and kids to support.

Why would anyone give up their career to help people guilty of child neglect, particularly at such an early stage as last May when they couldn't have known Maddie wouldn't be found? It suggests they knew Maddie was already dead and chose to work for a fraudulent fund.

The only person who should give up his career, for the sake of innocent people, is Gerry McCann because who needs someone like him working in the NHS - a public service that is already hell-bent on letting people die anyway for the sake of making money?

Hmmm... I think I just answered my own question!

Fortunately Kate has given up being a doctor, to concentrate her efforts on the fraudulent fund, and I hope she never returns to the profession.

Cláudia said...

CM, you naughty boy. Are inconsistencies contagious?
By the way, the pink one has been too quiet lately. Tell me, pinky boy, how come do you still have a job? Your clients aren't arguidos anymore, right? They can now answer all the questions they didn't because 'the weird Portuguese secrecy laws' didn't let them. Including the 48 ones Kate did not feel comfortable answering, God knows why. We are all waiting for them to loose their little tongues. But let's make a deal, you naughty boy. This time, no prearranged questions and no script, ok? Just the old fashioned thing: question, answer, question answer. And if your clients are brave enough, let Sandra Felgueiras do it. I think she has some questions she would like to see answered. And you would also see an old friend. All good. :-)

Anonymous said...

still hoping for some development on the 24 new photos... if they are dynamite, as some people claim, and show KM with a change of clothes then why on earth do the PJ not have them right now?

let's get the investigation reopened

as for CM, I always liked the "he lies with as many teeth in his mouth" comment

Anonymous said...

Mitchell says he met Gerry whilst he was 'working at the Consular Assistance Group from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office'.

And he was. When he met Gerry in Leicester it is likely that he had already been seconded to this Office (which would have been an official requirement). So Mitchell was well within his rights to say he was working for the Consular Assistance Group from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office'.

Mitchell was under no legal obligation to qualify this statement by saying he was on loan from the COI - so technically he's telling the truth.

Although Reis is trying his damndest to make it sound like Mitchell is lying - Mitchell is simply stating the truth - even if it's not the whole truth.

At the time he met Gerry he was working for the Consular Assistance Group. Even if he had only recently been drafted in. This is the only detail he leaves out.

The real issue here is why the rudely Catholic Blair deemed it necessary to sneak a media and PR figure into the ranks of the 'Foreign and Commonwealth Office' in the first place.

Why was he so keen to manage the flow of information about this case?

Blair tried it first with Dodd (a former Mirror journalist) only to find she was having her doubts about the McCann's innocence.

The only way to have secured the support of another media professional was perhaps by bringing them more into the loop.

Was Mitchell brought more into the loop than Dodd?

Blair announced his retirement from office on May 10th 2007. In would be some weeks before Gordon Brown began deputizing for him, and almost 2 months before he formally resigned.

BW

Anonymous said...

As much as it would add to the somewhat 'melting pot' of intrigue about CM meeting with Mr McCann in Leicester. Personally I don't think that it really matters.
He for whatever reason ended up on the 'bandwagon' in PDL until his return and Justine McG took over. She was scheduled to leave, at the time the McCann WERE thinking of returning to the UK, WERE MADE arguidos. Then CW took over as PR.

What I do find obscure, is the fact, that he was not required to give notice!! or was he? This is where things about his employment with the government and the Mr Kennedy conflict! Someone in a senior position would be contracted to a least a 3 month notice period.

The other thing that I find, should be worthy of a government watchdog, is did he ''use intelligence resources'' whilst employed by the government.

But he (CM) has taken a career path , that he might not find the way back easy. No doubt tied in knots with regard confidentiality - pity the government department hadn’t looked at his employment contract.
Meadow.

Anonymous said...

Amazing that the media was aware of Gerry's trip and YET not one of them witnessed the 'pickpocket'

Anonymous said...

anonymous,

Reis, as you rudely refer to Paulo, does have his name displayed at the foot of the article, along with Duarte Levy.

I have some 'more than willing to help in this case' contacts in the police, friends from schooldays.
They kindly investigated my concerns with Paulo's & Anna's sites yesterday. They found both subject to 'special authorization' access (Government approved).
Yahoo e-mail was confirmed as spam.

The device allows others usage of Paulo's & Anna's sites without their knowledge, identity theft.

Articles which they themselves post, in Ann-Esse's case, details of police files, are intercepted, edited and/or substituted for transmission.

It's highly illegal; both site owners are reputable journalists with the right to publish police files and any other relevant facts in this case.

Investigations confirm w.e.f. 20th August posts on Paulo's, News From My Big Desk & Mike Hitchen's blog are fraudulent; ID theft via hacking.

Mitchell was speaking the truth when he admitted at LSE - 'we' (Government Monitoring Unit) closed the mirror forum. 3 A's was taken into Government control mid April, Paulo & Ann-Esse are the latest victims of IT corruption, fraud and theft.
Police have also succeeded in tracking the ID of clones.

I'm told the 'boys in blue' are as appalled by the corruption in this case as all genuine bloggers and commentators.

Anonymous said...

anonymous,

As shown throughout this case, photographs are easily faked or photoshopped for the manipulative media/forum campaign.

Madeleine's parents did not report the colobama to the police at the time they reported her missing, confirmed by Interpol details. Several photos show it's non-existence. It was merely added to suit a purpose. "A good marketing ploy" Gerry said.

The photos being 'prepared' for the 'anti police' media campaign will be designed for the McCanns benefit.

They will not, however, alter the overwhelming evidence of Madeleine's death in the apartment, cadaver odours on clothes specified in the police report, including Madeleine's.
Cuddle cat, car key, vehicle boot with positive DNA matches; legal percentage requirement for proof of paternity.


and also

Anonymous said...

update:

In a report by the UK's PR Week it was reported that Blair's personal spin-doctor, Sheree Dodd went back to join the McCanns in late June/early July shortly after Mitchell returned to the UK and the COI.

It is said her expenses were being met by the McCanns and not the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Her return there also coincides with her dismissal from Brown's Cabinet.

When she was dispatched by Tony Blair to act as 'media laison officer' for the couple, she was a Director of Communications at the Department of Trade and Industry.

Was her departure from Government in anyway connected to her return to Portugal?

http://www.prweek.com/uk/news/article/665879/Dodd-returns-search-Maddie/

In an another extraordinary revelation, PR Week reported that it was the government’s permanent secretary for communications Howell James who requested Mitchell's presence in Praia da Luz.

http://www.prweek.com/uk/news/article/659378/

Howell James has similarly since resigned his position as permanent secretary (June 2008)

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/newsroom/statements/080610_howell_james.aspx

Howell James was appointed to his government position by Tony Blair in 2004. He is a very close friend of Peter Mandelson, now serving as a member of the European Commission alongside José Barroso (the original source for the McCann's Alert Scheme and 'Rights of the Child' policy makers). At the time of his appointment a government spokesman questioned appointing "a good friend of Peter Mandelson to such a sensitive post".

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2004/mar/25/marketingandpr.politicsandthemedia

Did Brown rumble Blair and James' little 'abduction' scheme?

more on the relationship between Howell James, Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson:
Mandelson:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/deconstructing-the-mandelson-set-690234.html

Anonymous said...

The joke of the day.

Seat and laugh a lot:

...."Although Reis is trying his damndest to make it sound like Mitchell is lying -

Mitchell is simply stating the truth -


even if it's not the whole truth.


*****
Reis is PAULO REIS; if you call to c. mitchell,only mitchell is your problem or.... fiendship.

REIS, we have a lot,so more carefull.Paulo , we have a lot,so...


MCREIS

Anonymous said...

I haven't got the foggiest idea what the chap above is trying to say.

Mitchell told the Police he was working for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at the time he met Gerry - and technically he is right as he had just been seconded to them from the COI.

It's what he didn't tell the Police that's the issue here.

He didn't qualify this statement by saying he had only been seconded recently to this office.

But then he was under no legal obligation to say so. So whilst he's not lied - he ain't told the whole truth either. Small surprise he is in Public Relations.

Anyway, it's more interesting that it was Howell James who requested Mitchell personally - given that James was such a close friend of Blair and Mandelson. And that Howell like (Buck, Mitchell, Henderson et al) no longer occupies his government post (he 'left' government in June 2008)

Looks like this trail leads right back to Blair and Mandelson - and -I think it is fair to say - the Barroso Commission. Not that Reis is likely to add this small but significant detail.

more here:
http://www.thesargeants.net/dblog/articolo.asp?articolo=162

Blackwatch

Anonymous said...

"I haven't got the foggiest idea what the chap above is trying to say."


Sure.I see. But are your´s words.
So,chap?

Reis

(ANOTHER,not PAULO)

Anonymous said...

Sorry. I still don't understand what the strange man above is trying to say. Sounds like he has an issue. Just don't know what it is. Maybe it's Batman's Riddler.

Anyway. Thought this was interesting.

Tony Blair's two administrations have signed up more Fleet Street and media figures than any previous Governments.

In Blair's Downing Street there has passed Alastair Campbell (Daily Mirror), Phil Bassett (Times and Financial Times), David Bradshaw (Daily Mirror), Andrew Adonis (The Observer) and Fiona Millar (Express). Lance Price (BBC). At the Foreign Office, John Williams (Mirror) aided by David Shaw (Evening Standard). Sheree Dodd of the Mirror is senior spinner at the Department for Work and Pensions, having previously been Mo Mowlam's spin doctor at the Northern Ireland Office. Peter Hooley (Express) was senior press officer at Defra, the food and animals department, and Sian Jarvis (GMTV) was director of communications at the Department of Health. Peter McMahon (Mirror, Scotsman) holds First Minister Henry McLeish's hand at the Scottish Office. It is only to be expected that the Mirror Group, with its strong Labour bias, would be well-represented. But no newspaper is safe. Estelle Morris, the Education Secretary, has just hired Chris Boffey, news editor at the Sunday Telegraph but also ex-Daily Star, as her special adviser.

http://www.bjr.org.uk/data/2001/no4_routledge

This has Blair written all over it.

Brown threw the media figures out with the bathwater by all accounts.

Anonymous said...

It was common knowledge as long ago as May 2007 that Mitchell had been seconded to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The UK magazine Brand Republic refers to Mitchell being requested personally by Mandelson associate, Howell James (then Head of Communications)

http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&rlz=1T4DKUK_en-GBGB287GB287&q=howell+james+clarence+mitchell&meta=

And in another it talks of the 'media monitoring chief' being 'appointed' by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office':

http://www.brandrepublic.com/News/659378/Media-monitoring-chief-act-liaison-McCanns/

It can't have been much of a closely guarded secret, all this. The Police had only to read the press.

If I were you, Paulo, I'd start having a look at why Howell James personally requested him>

James is a close friend of Blair and Peter Mandelson.

Here's how The Telegraph described Sheree Dodd - the first person the UK Government sent out to represent the McCanns:

"Mr Blair finds old habits hard to lose, so a promotion might be in store for Peter Hyman, a No 10 operative who is said to be an ally of Peter Mandelson. The youthful D J Collins, a former trade union spinner who has been working at the Department of Education, is also well regarded. Then there is Sheree Dodd, director of communications at the DTI and a thorough Blairite, who has reportedly been going through "political turbulence" with some of her ministers' advisers.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1436411/Who-would-take-up-the-challenge-if-Campbell's-career-is-cut-short.html

David James Smith of The Times even mentioned that the PJ had considered whether or not Dodd had 'come out from MI6 to help dispose of the body'.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article3040094.ece

You are in the right area, Paulo, you are just chasing the wrong people.

Dodd gone?
Howell James gone?
Mitchell gone
Buck gone?

Would Brown really treat people who could blackmail him by removing them?

Or were they following someone else's orders?

Maybe brown has been left to clear up someone else's mess. Doesn't make him totally innocent - but then it doesn't make him the one responsible.

Who was able to set all this up and run before anyone got a chance to blame him?

BW

Anonymous said...

Was Howell James a Brown ally?

Absolutely not. James's close friendship with Mandelson makes than certain.

The hate between Brown and Mandelson is the stuff of legend.

Initially thick as thieves, Mandelson's affections gradually drifted towards the charismatic Blair, who he supported for leader in 1996.

Brown never forgave his former ally for the betrayal, and Gordon never forgets. He has made it clear that he will not be reappointing Mandelson to the EU Commission.

BW

Paulo Reis said...

BW,

Just a detail: You wrote, in your comment, that "David James Smith of The Times even mentioned that the PJ had considered whether or not Dodd had 'come out from MI6 to help dispose of the body".

He doesn't put that phrase in the "mouth" of someone from PJ:

"I heard that a PJ officer had been surprised to find a member of MI5 at a UK meeting about the case, and this made him suspicious that shadowy forces could be at work. The Sol journalist Felicia Cabrita mentioned the “mysterious Clarence” – Clarence Mitchell, the former government PR officer turned McCann spokesman – and I was told there was suspicion too about another government official, Sheree Dodd, who had acted as a PR officer for the McCanns briefly in the early days – had she come out from MI6 to help dispose of the body?"

in The Times, December 16, 2007
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article3040094.ece

Regards,

Paulo Reis

Paulo Reis said...

BW,

Anyway, that detail about David James Smith story is just a detail. Your comment and the info it contains is very interesting.

Regards

Paulo Reis

Anonymous said...

I know. David James Smith boxes very clever with what he says and how he says it. He uses a mixture of entailment and suggestion. He implies that the PJ were speculating about this possibility without actually saying it. He then softens the blow by saying that it's obviously 'ridiculous'.

But why does Smith mention it if it's so ridiculous? I think he was keen to put across the idea that Dodd's presence had not gone unnoticed by the press and that he was just as confused by the Mi5 presence as anyone else.

In Britain it is well known that Blair has very close ties to the intelligence services (to this day) - and that the British Intelligence services very much did Blair's bidding in a way that previous Governments had been unnable to.

Timing has been essential to this case. Things appear to have conformed to a very rigid timetable.

Dodd's return to Portugal at the end of June is very intriguing. It seems she had just found herself booted out of Brown's government (June 2007). The fact that the McCanns paid her expenses for that extra week (and NOT the Foreign and Commonwealth Office) after Mitchell had returned to the UK suggests that she was persona non-grata with Brown and that she was not operating in an official capacity.

For the most part, Brown has been a red-herring in all of this. The figures that seemd to be hugging the McCanns early on came directly from the Blair camp. I probably can't reinforce this enough, Paulo, because I think it is very significant: there is a massive and very aggressive gulf between the Brown camp and the Blair camp. it's almost like a party within a party. This is why Miliband is being groomed to replace Brown. Miliband is a protege of Blair and retains all Blair's previous backers, including (very importantly) Mandelson.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/labour/2480881/Sketch-David-Milibands-interview-was-a-calculated-insult-to-Gordon-Brown.html

If you follow Blair and Mandelson and the whole thing begins to make a bit more sense (and it certainly explains the piece of theatre at the Vatican - an event that took place just as Blair intended to formalise his conversion and fasttrack his way to becoming a catholic deacon:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-461032/Blair-Catholic-deacon.html

What are the chances of the Vatican's PR office and Blair's PR office (headed by Howell James) having got there heads together for one mighty PR offensive involving the McCanns?

Seems the couple were quickly becoming useful tools in a variety of PR initiatives, from EU Alert Schemes to Catholic Revivals.

And the truth of what happened that night probably meant very little to them.

Anonymous said...

PRESS RELEASE - 17 september 2008

Clarence Mitchell, director of COI Media Monitoring Unit .... becomes McCanns media spokesperson.

Anonymous said...

from Brand Republic (PR mag)

23-May-07, 17:42

Media monitoring chief to act as liaison for McCanns
by Hannah Marriott PR Week UK

The director of the government’s media monitoring unit was this week flown to Portugal to act as a media liaison for the family of ­missing toddler Madeleine McCann.

Clarence Mitchell, a former BBC journalist, has been ­appointed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It is un­derstood he was personally requested by the government’s permanent secretary for communications Howell James.

http://www.brandrepublic.com/News/659378/Media-monitoring-chief-act-liaison-McCanns/

Anonymous said...

This might be more of interest to Paulo. The UK Government's Foreign and Commonwealth Office who seconded Mitchell from COI is the same Foreign and Commonwealth Office department who enlisted Control Risks Group - the Risk Assessment Company who the McCanns hired to track Madeleine in Morocco. When they worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office the company provided assessments for business development in Iraq. In 2004 Control Risks Assessments placed Morocco on their medium-risk league for terrorist disruption (along with London).

But there's something perhaps more interesting.

In December 2007 Morocco spent in excess of £2500 million on 24 US F-16 combat planes.

Two of the main US Defense Contractors included in the deal were Northrop and Raytheon. Tony Blair's new employers JP Morgan Chase are major shareholders in both of these companies (JP Morgan Chase are US Investment Bankers - Blair went to work for them as 'Advisor' at the same time he became Envoy to the Middle East.

Here's another interesting thing.

The man who personally requested that Mitchell should be seconded to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office was Howell James (at that time Secretary of Communications). He was a close firend of Blair and Blair appointed him in 2004. In 2008, however, Howell James resigned his government post and took up a role at Barclays as Group Corporate Affairs Director.

Barclays is the largest institutional investor in JP Morgan Chase - Blair's company.

This might not explain what happened on the night of May 3rd - but I think it's becoming more and more clear why the McCanns were on the receiving end of so much governmental support.

Did it provide certain people with a suitable front or pretext for getting in and around Morocco and its partner regions?

(just one objective of many different interest groups, perhaps?)

more here:
http://www.thesargeants.net/dblog/articolo.asp?articolo=166

Anonymous said...

Ever come across RICU? The UK Government's 'Research, Information and Communication Unit'. The unit reports to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office - the Office that Blair's former Communication henchman, Howell James seconded Clarence Mitchell to in June 2007 (June 2007 is also the month that RICU was established).

Alan Travis writes about RICU in The Guardian - August 2008

"...Whitehall counter-terrorism experts intend to exploit new media websites and outlets with a proposal to 'channel messages through volunteers in internet forums' as part of their campaign."

It was recently in the headlines for being suspected of influencing a BBC Radio 4 documentary on religious extremism. It is said the producers met with the unit.

more here:

http://www.thesargeants.net/dblog/articolo.asp?articolo=168

Seems they recruit online volunteers. Do you think you or your readers could ever volunteer for something like this, Paulo?